No Mud Between the Toes

FTLComm - Valparaiso - Tuesday, May 7, 2002

The low temperatures and common sense have left thousands and thousands of snow geese waiting here in a line toward Rosthern. They have settled into fields with some left overs from last years harvest and have congregated around what ever little sloughs and ponds still remain in this parched part of the


The first three pictures on this page were taken at 8:00 last night and the rest about 7:00 on Saturday night and in both cases just West of Valparaiso.

Geese by their nature love mud, they love it with a passion because it is in and around mud that they choose to make their nests, rear their goslings and forage for food. But it struck me as funny that one of the glories of mud, the way is squeezes up between

your toes of your bare feet is not a pleasure geese can experience. Their problem, webbed feet.

With brains the size of a couple of almonds these masters of long distance travel, formation flying and social behaviour that includes life time commitment and fidelity are pretty remarkable creatures.

Check this out as you are driving along notice that the large number of Canada geese who now make their home here for half the year stand around in fields having breakfast, morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snack, supper and dinner. Notice how they stay fairly close together and while one has a bite to eat the other stands vigilant watching for possible danger. Then after one has dined the other takes over visual surveillance so that the partner can eat knowing that his or her partner is looking out for them.

No doubt this is just one of the many shared parts of life that make geese partners for life. Goose lawyers are all unemployed and so are the marriage counsellors.