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Reflections from the SwampHouston, The Goose has Landed

Houston, The Goose has Landed

Reflections from the Swamp
Richard van Duyvendyk

Dear Reader

I know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the geese on Corkery Pond. Undoubtedly you have seen the geese flying overhead or on the river in Mississippi Mills. Like many of you, I’ve heard geese for several weeks, and have been anticipating their landing. I think Dickins describes it best.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief; it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, and then the geese landed.” (Charles Dickins). A lone pair of geese fell out of the sky and made history on the pond. These descendant geese are the first recorded landing on Corkery pond this year—a small step for a goose, a giant step for goose-kind.

After sitting out on the pond in a lawn chair for the past three weeks, sipping tea from my thermos, the holy geese descended on me while napping on the sunny afternoon of March 27th. It felt like the oracles anointed me with the trumpets of spring. At first glance, it didn’t look like a day for the goose landing as solid ice still covered the pond, and you could drive a train across it. I quietly watched the geese for an hour before approaching them for an interview.

The geese, dressed in matching feathery outfits, looked gender-neutral. I assumed the taller one was the male; he looked me over in a threatening sort of way. I said, “Welcome to Corkery Pond. Have you been here before?” The geese looked at each other and shook their heads in disbelief. “Our ancestors have been coming here for generations. There was a time in this fair land when the railway did not run, and the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun, long before the white man and long before the wheel when the deep dark swamps were too silent to be real.” Wow! Do you listen to Gorden Lightfoot?” The smaller goose said,” We don’t have much choice; you often have your record player blaring away on summer evenings. I hope you keep the music down this summer or wait until the goslings are older.”

So there you have it, readers; I’m back in communication with the geese on the pond. The geese are my neighbours. Sometimes they are noisy, and other times they can be messy on the driveway. Most of the time, the geese are just another welcome addition to the pond. I love when they leave me their huge flight features after moulting in June. I take the feathers and stick a bic pen ink cartridge up the shaft. My grandkids all have goose feather pens. The geese may wait for the ice to melt and not return for several weeks or periodically return to stake out their favourite spots.

Seven people Guessed March 27th as the day the geese would arrive. They are:

  • Sander Littel  Lekkerkerk, Holland
  • Chris Harbor, Mississippi Mills
  • Collins Ross, Calgary
  • Brenda Boyd, Clayton
  • Ginger McCoy, Ottawa
  • Wendy MacDonald, Mississippi Mills
  • Nicolaas Van Duyvendyk, Mississippi Mills

I’ll be in contact with you all shortly. Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to all who participated in the Millstone News Lotto this year.

Meanwhile, let’s all enjoy the slow arrival of spring, the returning birds and the first flowers. Spring is finally here!






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