Sunday, January 31, 2016

Oh, Canada...

I hate to bother our neighbors to the north, I really do. They must think of us as the annoying downstairs tenants who are always making a racket. And yet we have so much in common. Coasts. Rockies. Transcontinental railroads. Football leagues that other people in the world don't understand.

But I must take my broom and rap on the 49th parallel north, and ask them if they would PLEASE do something about these stupid BIRDS of theirs.

I know birds have to do that bird thing, and migratory birds are notorious non-respecters of legal national borders, however well marked. So sure, like the European swallow, or the gold-plated government-union pixel-pusher, Canadian geese must go south in the winter.

My problem is, they are not going far enough south.

Spotted in our area in January. January, people!

New York's Hudson Valley, beautiful as it is, is no one idea of "south" in any meaningful sense. I'm sure you Canadians who plan to vacation someplace warm do not stop in Kingston and say, "This is just as good as Miami, eh?" (And don't tell me you don't say "eh"---I've been there, I've heard it.) No, our winters are hardly better than those for the bulk of the Canadian populace, clustered around their lower border. So why must your geese overstay their welcome?

Surely it is not unreasonable to expect a migratory bird to see the leaves descending in October and November and say, "Welp, time to mosey on down" and "Next stop, Arkansas!" They could easily follow the line of denuding trees through the late fall, passing by us before Christmas and staying away until April. Why is this so hard?

As you can see in the above photo, they have completely taken over the little island of the gazebo, turning it into Geesebo Isle, and any bride who had hoped to take wedding pictures there had better have duck boots and help of the whole wedding party to keep her train clear of the ground. Is this how a civilized nation behaves?

No, I say, and I expect you to do something with these geese of yours.

My idea to put a Goose in Every Pot has run into trouble with the usual suspects. If one mentions that these birds are at the lowest point on the endangered scale---"Least Concern," which is about a step above "Actual Menace"---and that a few dedicated men with piano wire could make Goose McNuggets out of the lot in short order, some jackass inevitably starts complaining about threats to Canadian goose subspecies. So our parks are overflowing with goose feces, and what do you care, eh, Canada? You're probably glad to be rid of them for the season.

This has got to stop, and I fully expect some maple-flavored cooperation with this project. I will be happiest with some pledge to eliminate or re-route these feathered fiends, but will be satisfied with a plan to get them to shorten their stay here along their migratory flight plan.

Contact me at frederick_key AT and we will see if we can arrive at some meeting of the minds. But please: No French.

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