Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Adoption

We live in a town with a lake.
A man made lake. 
A 2,800 acre reservoir that hosts boats, bluegill fish, turtles, migrating pelicans, an occasional dead body, and geese. 
Canada geese migrate and overwinter in many cities throughout the U.S.  
And any town with a large area of water really draws them in. 
I don't even think these geese ever leave. 
Why go anywhere when the weather is moderate, there's food, there's a place to lay eggs and raise babies, a place to meet new friends. 
Friends who become family. 

I drive down Baltimore Road to get to the grocery store. 
To get to the farm store where I buy horse feed, baby chicks, and bulk candy. 
Every farm store I've ever been in has tons of bulk candy. 
It's the only place I know to go to to buy those puffy, gross, orange circus peanuts. 
That stick to the roof of your mouth and then you think...why in the hell did I buy these?
Why is that?
Wait...I'm on a tangent.
Back to the geese. 

So, for years I've driven down Baltimore Road and I've driven by the southeastern section of our lake. 
Past a parking lot for people to stop at when they want to fish. 
It's a beautiful area. 
Full of bulrushes and the occasional heron. 
And the geese are there. 
I'm sure I've been driving past the same geese for almost a decade. 
How do I know this?
Because of this goose. 

Who is NOT a Canada Goose.  
But a snow goose. 
I think. 
I'm not 100% sure. 
But I know it's not a Canada Goose. 
And he's (guessing on that one, too!) been with this group for as long as I can remember myself driving to the farm store down Baltimore Road. 
He comes and goes. 
But this grassy area that begins at a parking lot near the lake has become his home. 
And these Canada Geese have become his family. 
I don't know if it breeds with the others. 
There are baby geese every year strutting behind the parents in the grass by the parking lot. 
But none grow up to look like this goose. 

They've adopted this pale goose. 
The pale goose with the bright orange beak. 
We look for him every time we drive by. 
And when we spot him someone yells out "SNOW GOOSE!"
We love this oddball. 
This goose who sticks out like a sore thumb. 
This burst of light amongst all of the dark feathers. 
I'm sad when he's not there if I drive by. 
I always think, "Oh he must be out on the lake, paddling around with his family."
I hope he sticks around for many years to come. 
Because we've adopted him, too.

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