Thursday, July 30, 2009

Observations from a lawn chair

It’s pretty peaceful at the campground where we are staying. The spaces are far enough apart to give us privacy, and we aren’t near the “transients” as they call the weekly/daily campers. Most of us in the area where we are stay for longer periods of time. We are situated across from a small pond that I’ve named Tranquility Pond, which is frequented by Canadian Geese, a Great Blue Heron, sandpipers, numerous bull frogs that lull us to sleep, and last year, an American bittern.

I love to sit outside under the shade of this great maple tree, and ideally, if there is a gentle wind, listen to the leaves rustling in the breeze.

The sparrows keep up a nice chatter in the nearby blue spruce trees and once in awhile I can hear the cows lowing from the pasture next to the campground. It is so peaceful and quiet out here and it’s where I do my best writing. And especially – there’s no TV blaring in the background. My husband loves the TV and has to have it on at all times. Me? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong – I love my programs. But I watch them in the evening. Thankfully I have the DVR. So in the daytime, when it’s not raining, I drag out the lap top and plunk in down on the picnic table, dig out the extension cord, plug it into the trailer and computer, and Wah-lah! There is my outdoor work station.

True, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate because I look over at the pond when the geese start honking, or I wave hello when someone drives by, but all in all, I pretty much stay to the task at hand.

Today I had to smile when I saw that someone (or something) had left a little present on our picnic table over night. Looks like we had a visitor! I haven’t seen too many squirrels in the area, even though there are an abundance of trees. I suppose it could have been a raccoon. Do raccoons eat nuts? I wonder?

I came out and sat in my lawn chair with my camera. The geese were right on the site next to us. Our neighbors have decided to take a little side trip so they are gone for a few days. That makes me happy because it’s really open now and I can observe the geese more. (Sorry, neighbor!)

The geese communicate both verbally and non-verbally. They nod up and down when they want to leave. The leader of the pack does this, and the rest of the group follow him. I don’t know if they are really emitting some kind of sound while doing this; if so it’s awfully quiet. I mean, the other geese can be feeding on the grass at that point and not even looking at the leader, but they know to follow him.

There is a large congregation of geese here. It seems that they can live peacefully together, IF THEY AREN’T TOO CLOSE. As soon as one family encroaches upon another family's “territory” this is what happens.

Here’s a family of sleeping geese. All is well. Momma goose is checking up on everyone.

Enter stage left. Another family.

This can only mean trouble.

Sure enough. A lot of hissing, a lot of elongated necks, and chasing one another.

The stronger family wins. The other geese leave the area.

Other families go and take a dip in the pond.

Some just snooze after a short swim.

Here’s one doing his morning stretches.

This one’s confused and thinks he’s a flamingo. Should I tell him or should you?

Some have an awful curiosity about the woman in the lawn chair with the camera in her hand.

I feel my heart start to palpitate, recalling an incident about 25 years ago when I was attacked by a gaggle of geese. I had run out of food and mummy and daddy geese were not happy with me. I ran blindly into a mud patch with 8 geese snapping at the calves of my legs and hissing at me. Yikes!

Here we have a mutual respect for each other. I stay away from them – they stay away from me. I hope to keep it that way. Luckily with my zoom lens I don’t have to get too close to those hissing, pooping, flying machines. But I do love them all the same.


SquirrelQueen said...

That is a beautiful campground, the pond certainly lives up to its name. I can just imagine sitting under that lovely tree listening to nature and watching all the geese.

Great photos. The nut remains on the table have all the signs of a squirrel's leftovers!

Have a wonderful day,

Rae said...

Great story and I love your commentary. Sounds very peaceful. It must be nice to get away from crowds and noise.

Sunny said...

What a wonderful place to stay. Your geese pictures are great and I enjoyed your story.
Sunny :)

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

I love your commentary and your photos. What a great way to spend an afternoon! I hope that in the next couple of years that Ron and I can be spending at least part of our summers on the road. That's my goal, anyway.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

We have a few ducks that frequent our pond. Like you I have a healthy fear of the creatures. My daughter brought a newly hatched duck home from school when she was in middle school. Named him Howard and he was the meanest creature I ever encountered. He bit the dog and chased the meter man!

charmine said...

How lovely to be able to camp in such a beautiful spot.I love nature and like you love to travel.Geese i do keep away from though i love them.That lake view is very soothing to look out on to.

Laura said...

I was attacked by a swan when I was a kid. They are evil. Geese aren't much better. Isn't it weird that I have a parrot though? I guess it's just water fowl that are members of Satan's Army. : )