20020322 Woods Walk March 22 2002

Continuing to write for my cousin Marion, in New York State, and my sister Gale, in Maryland.

I walked today, but the Canadian Geese were gone from Goose Feather pond. That is my own name for the pond, at the beginning of the bike trail, that has yielded the two Goose feathers I have on my desk.

We have had rain all week, and I have been a little sick, at the same time. One of the gloomy days, I pulled up in my truck, at Goose Feather. You can see the pond, clearly, from a parking lot near it. The whole thing is part of Yadkin Valley Park.

Found out why I sometimes find goose feathers, or geese feathers, or gooses feathers, or however you might say it. One male was spending a lot of time "preening" himself, in the section near where I have found a feather. Some feathers must get loose, in the preening process.

I had a good view, as I had my small binoculars with me. Enclosed please find a picture of my Binoculars, Bushnell, 10 by 25. They are a small, easy to use, and are both waterproof and shockproof. I bought them "on a whim," one day last year. Apparently, these are good, mid-range field glasses, being neither too big or too small, nor that expensive.

Back to the preening goose. That fellow reached every conceivable area with his beak, even the "keel" just below his neck. The front part of a birds body, just above the "water line" or at it, is shaped like a ships keel. I even saw that goose scratch behind its ear, like a canine might, with his left foot.

When I finally got out of the truck, and walked down to the pond, I was surprised to find half a dozen more geese, and half a dozen Mallard ducks. Apparently you can not see the pond as clearly as I thought from the truck.

The water fowl that land on this tiny pond are not tame. Even though I threw some bread crumbs out, they stayed away from me. If you go up to the geese at Salem Lake, near Winston-Salem, they about mob you. That is, at first, they move away, but if you throw bread crumbs, they come up "en mass." Then the scene becomes a battle for food. A lot of people go the Salem Lake and feed the geese.

My 'own - named "Goose Feather Pond"' would probably fit in most country - sized front yards. On another day, after stopping at Goose Feather, I found two geese there, but continued down the trail.

Suddenly, you could hear some honking, and three more Canadians flew over. Looking back, I had a clear view of the three of them, in a complete right "bank" coming low to the ground. They stacked up about fifteen feet into the air, side ways, the three of them. Tipped ninety degrees from horizontal, they were in tight formation. It was really impressive.

At first I thought I had missed seeing them "up close", having entered the woods. Then I realized that the three geese would probably not have done those aerobatics if I were standing there.

A full grown goose can have a five-foot wing span, easily. They say that if you want to catch them in the wild, dig a ditch about four feet deep and a couple of feet wide, and fill it with grain, or some other bait. If you then surprise the geese, they don't have enough room to spread their wings, and you can catch them. I am not sure I want to be there for that battle.

On still another day, a little further back in time, and further back in the same woods, I came upon another pond, (there are three there.) You could hear a chorus of honking.

Two geese, presumably male, were locked together in combat. The pair looked like some strange creature with four wings, and two necks, and the two necks were battling with each other like snakes.

The accompanying geese were acting like a cheering section of a television wrestling match. I expected them to start throwing beer cans, at any moment.

Growing tired of the conflict, I walked off. They apparently did not grow tired, as you cold hear the commotion for quite a ways down the trail.


.. "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6: 28 -34 New King James Version

The other day I stopped on the trail. Thinking of how God takes care of each of His animals, I finally realized that what is "lacking" in my life comes from me not allowing God to take care of me. He really wants to bless me, and take care of me, it is His nature.

Taking each thing that bothered me, in turn, I began to turn them over to my Heavenly Father, in my mind, in my spirit, and in my prayers.

May God bless you this day, in Jesus' Name.

- Paul