• Dale Bowman

Nesting goose, killdeer & time: Ramble with the Lady

With the daily routine of the morning ramble, I learn the natural rhythms in my piece of God's good earth.

Everything has its place in time, especially in the spring.

I found the first goose on a nest this morning.

The Canada geese return to the town pond a few days to a week before the ice actually melts, the pairs begin staking our nesting spots and acting in a way I can't really describe but I know means they will soon be on their nests.

Well, that has been happening for about a week. Of the seven pairs or so that nest around the town pond, I know where three pairs traditionally nest.

This morning I found the first one on a nest. My guess is others on nests, but I cannot see them.


Naturally, at least naturally for me, that takes to the Rolling Stones--``Stones, man''--and ``Time is on My Side.''

Considering the song is from 1964, I am not sure time is on their side. Come to think of it, not sure time is on the side of any of us.

Nesting geese are one checkoff on time of spring.

Another is the arrival of killdeer, which has been going on for a while. But this morning it was particularly noticable because the killdeer, a plover, were circling overhead and calling. Usually I hear them on the ground while they are doing that herky-jerky movement.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has this description, which I find very accurate and also gives a reason for that herky-jerky movement.

These tawny birds run across the ground in spurts, stopping with a jolt every so often to check their progress, or to see if they’ve startled up any insect prey. Their voice, a far-carrying, excited kill-deer, is a common sound even after dark, often given in flight as the bird circles overhead on slender wings.

Again, a very lively spring morning, probably because Lady, our family's mutt, and I set off much later than usual. With the kids on spring break, I can work much later by myself before everyone is up and stirring.

As we started, a gray squirrel bolted from the ground feeders by the neighbor's bushes. Mourning doves called on all sides. Robins, again, were hopping and bopping everywhere.

Again, as we crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, I heard a woodpecker hammering away on the hollow tree on the southwest corner of the south old clay pit. I am sure it was hairy I have spotted before.

Canada geese were spread all over. No ducks this morning. No kingfisher. But plenty of trilling by red-winged blackbirds.

Back on the edge of town, it sounded like the dryers were going at the grain elevators. That seemed odd.

A block from home, Lady tried to leap up and mouth a robin on a low maple branch. She came up short. Two blue jays squawked down that street.

Time to get back to writing. Time to roust the family. Times moves on, even on spring break.

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