Monday, August 8, 2011

Distressing ride to work this morning...

I live in the Hilltowns of Albany County, New York, and feel privileged to partake in nature's wonderful array of wildlife, foliage, lakes and streams, and reservoirs. It was while crossing over one such beautiful reservoir that I encountered something I've never seen before.

canadian goose

I have been seeing Canadian geese roam about this causeway for the past several weeks, and I know it's dangerous because it is only a two-lane road. I usually fear for the folks fishing off the sides or walking along the narrow shoulder. I've seen the gander of one pair strutting, protecting his mate while she pecked at the grass. I noticed in days past that some drivers would stop and let them cross, or at least slow down anticipating their moves, and some pick-up drivers come very close to them as if to say, "if you get in my way, I'm gonna hit ya."

Well, this morning, the inevitable happened. Unless told by that someone, I'll never know what really happened, but the beautiful gander had been hit and sent rolling into and under the guardrail. I am not sure how long ago this had happened, but I think it was right before I got there because his mate was flurrying down the causeway, running and zigzagging back and forth, hooting and squawking like any wife would do that had just seen her husband killed. I felt so sorry for her that I'm crying now while I'm writing this remembering her hysteria. It was like something out of a children's story book - like Chicken Little when the sky was falling. I've never seen anything like it. I know that they are monogamous, but this went further than some fact about geese; it reached into emotion and my heart and soul.

My mind has a problem with death, as if it can't fathom it or wrap itself around it. It's always been that way for me. Things like this stay with me for a while and really bother me. Was it still dark and somebody just didn't see him as they came upon them, or did someone deliberately hit him without thought or remorse?

How long did that poor goose carry on, and did she keep going back to her dead mate? Did she prod him? How long until she quieted down - if she did? Do they have eggs or goslings to care for? Do they find new mates eventually? Do they commit suicide or spend the rest of their lives alone? I cried on the way to my pet sit prior to my full-time job, and hugged the cats when I got there.

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