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Friday, February 8, 2013

Alberta Clipper Five

       
I took my camera to work today, to take a picture of red dry hydrants for Lisleman. They shone like rubies in Tuesday’s sunshine.  I’m not expecting to get back a day like that any time soon.  They’re just dull looking dry hydrants, with Alberta Clipper Five closing in.



At the end of that post, Jenny commented that hydrants in her town are painted to coordinate with local landmarks.  That is a magnificent idea and I think Nick and the kids at the art academy might see these as the Loch Ness monster.  Or anything.

Because dry hydrants would make a rather dry post I thought I’d just go down to the corner and take another picture to show you another story, when I heard the heron—and looked up and found him. One more wing flap and he was over the cedars.



This poor golf course is the winter home of deer, Canadian geese and mallard ducks.  It’s a beautiful golf course, thickly fertilized all winter.  I thought about cleaning it all up every spring and asked a friend who managed a golf course in New York.  She went wild.  Don’t even talk to her about it.  And, the goose crap is toxic.

So, there are shoulder to shoulder deer and geese on the golf course all winter.  Come spring, only the geese are left.  Several years ago I realized the geese nested around the lake.  Then the little yellow fluff balls would appear, running about like cartoon ducks.  And the hawks swooped down and took them away.  One morning the hill would be yellow with goslings and at day’s end I could watch the last gosling whisked away. 

I stopped taking that road into the valley once I saw the geese nesting; breakfasting hawks were not a pretty sight, even if they are endangered red tail hawks.  I was even more angry with the stupid geese who couldn’t be bothered to go across the street and use the marsh for a nursery.  You don’t even want to know how they watched their broods lifted off without raising a wing, then sauntered around the lake as if nothing happened.

Then two years ago the golf course left the low corner at the road unmowed, and a little marsh sprang up on this side.  I watched for geese nesting on the lawn, and there were none.  I resumed using Truxell to get to work and back, keeping my eye on the lake and the corner.  And sometime in June those half grown geese began emerging from their private marsh.  It didn’t improve my opinion of their parents’ IQ’s, but at least they knew what to do with this marsh when they found it.  Here it is, waiting for spring to turn into the goose nursery.





And then I telephotoed up the hill, past the marsh, onto the golf course.  Yes, that is goose, duck and deer shit littering the ground under the cedars.


And, Alberta Clipper number Five is swirling around outside.  While we will get only two to four inches this time, I’m thinking about New England and New York taking the two to four feet pounding.



Lest we forget Tuesday.  Golf course with deer track.

18 comments:

  1. I wonder if they are like the birds of prey we get here called Red Kite. They are really nice to see, but have only started coming back in the last couple of years.

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  2. I guess it is good that mother geese, wild turkeys etc. don't suffer the loss of their young when predators take them.
    I would hate to think they mourned for their little ones. I'm surprised that there are so many animals hanging around over the winter especially the heron. Do you have open water all winter?

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    1. Yes, the river generally does not freeze. Across from the golf course the river hooks around a peninsula and I often see mallards riding the buffered current at the tip of the peninsula. One of the town artists took pictures after I told her about them. The land for miles along the river is marsh land, with cranes and herons.

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  3. Oh Joanne, I'm surprised at you blaming Canadian geese..they are Canada geese....and could be any nationality!
    Jane x

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    1. I stand corrected. As they stay year round and probably were born on the golf course, of course they are American Geese. For a couple of years there was one white "farm" goose in with the lot, but I noticed he moved in with the Canada geese in the cemetery. Nice lakes there, too.

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  4. Those big honkers can leave a lot of "fertilizer." Some people around here like to feed them along the river path which brings in even more geese which means even more crap. Then within a week they all disappeared. The city said they were "re-located." Nobody asked where since the bike path and the grass was suddenly not yucchy.

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  5. Enjoy your snow! The roads should be all clear when it's time to go to work and school again on Monday

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  6. Maybe I understand the term "silly goose" better now - not much of a maternal instinct there ... nature has its good points and just as many harsh ones.

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  7. Glad you won't be hit with the majority of snow like other parts of the country. I kind of like hawks, they hold a special meaning for me, but I do know they do like their prey. Hubby one time saw a falcon get a pigeon when he was walking the dog; all he said was "wow, lots of feathers flying!"

    lots of wildlife in your neck of the woods!

    betty

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  8. I'm wondering how the geese maintained their numbers with the babies being picked off like that.
    The deep blue sky of the last photo is just gorgeous.

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  9. That is nature's way I suppose. Every year we see a Mallard duck pair on the stream which runs through the village. The numerous ducklings are slowly picked off by the fox leaving only one or two.
    One year the mother duck must have nested quite far from the stream... she marched her babies from the Church yard, down the high street, stopping all traffic, walked through a pub garden and made her chicks jump off the wall into the stream. It was marvelous to watch.

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  10. And I thought our little deer family was a problem. Shelley and I saw a Great Horned Owl in the yard this morning.

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  11. I did a search, maybe this is the person who did your cat, follow the link

    http://www.myamericancrafts.com/Dewey-Studio-Cats/

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  12. here is her website, let me know if this is the artist

    http://www.deweystudio.com/ceramic_cats1.html

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  13. everything has to eat and what we eat is each other. I don't begrudge the hawk and if they didn't eat the goslings, you would be awash in goose poop.

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  14. An unchecked goose population is a gloopy, sticky thing.

    Your pics look very much like Minnesota. :-)

    Pearl

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  15. You have snow on the ground and we have daffodils starting to poke up. Lovely pictures!

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  16. Joanne, do you have an email address? If you'd like, I can send you some pictures of the fire hydrants I mentioned. (Or you can email me at the address on my profile if you'd rather not post it publicly.)

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