Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here's where the horns come in. . .

A bit of explanation is due. October last, moving to the Twin Cities, I left our home of 14 years behind in Chicago. Now I find myself in a small apartment complex with the added benefit that our living room opens up onto a marshy pond. Every day since then I've been looking out across the parking lot and I was rewarded with daily songs from chickadees and a devoted pair of cardinals. Exactly on the first day of spring I heard the first lovely notes from red-wing blackbirds who had just arrived, set down their luggage and sounded happy to be breathing their old familiar air again. As the pond water slowly warmed and the ice melted, the skies were filled with the constant circling and landing of pairs of Canada geese and mallard ducks and the daily slow passing of one lone blue heron. Days are now filled with the sounds of a horn section gone wrong, all music to my ears (pun intended).

Then I saw this on the roof of our three-story building.
This goose had taken the high ground to maintain his watch on their nest in the pond across the street. I was greeted by warning honks turning to threats. He disappeared before my eyes. . .then I heard a thump, thump, thumping like large hail falling. Next he was airborne and landing on the nest, all in an instant. He had used the flat roof for take-off, however galumphing it sounded.

And safety was once again restored to the land.

As a post script, please know that while I watch these events occur, I feel the constant nagging reality that we have shortchanged these wonderful creatures through our greed. We've taken and built and taken some more, all the while they persevere with their duties on the bit of space we've let them have. I'm learning that Minnesotans stay aware of this and continue to care.

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