Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Geese Are Beautiful

I love fall on the Chowan River.

Early in the morning the geese start stirring and moving about on the river below the cliffs. They are the kings among the numerous flocks of ducks and seagulls that sleep in the middle of the huge expanse of the river. There must be a couple of thousand birds in total. As the morning begins the geese start to honk, clearing their throats for the calls they make as they fly. With no apparent pattern, one of the flocks will start to swim, slowly at first and then faster and faster until they start to flap their wings. The river boils with their efforts to break free of its embrace. As they clear the water they skim along, not gaining altitude, just speed. Then one will start to rise and the rest follow him up as they head out, flying in large circles over the water. They start to climb, gaining more and more altitude, organizing the huge V they always adopt. Their circles expand. Then they skim above the tall trees on the top of the cliffs by our home, so close overhead I feel I can almost touch them. After a final circle they head inland, seeking food which will give them energy for their later flights south - as well as the next generation which they will start in the spring.

It is a dazzling show, even on days like today, with overcast brooding skies. Various flocks have been at it for a couple of hours now. Another huge V just passed overhead, honking constantly as they head West. The earliest flocks have been here on the river for a couple of months now. It is never clear what plan they follow as their arrivals are always chaotic - spread over weeks and their departures vary by months - depending on the weather. Yet their morning displays of flight never cease to entertain during the months they spend on our river.

I am so glad I live on the Chowan River. I can't imagine a better place to view God's beauty. The geese are the best.


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