Geese on ice (Too early? Or too late?): Bowman’s Bits

SHARE Geese on ice (Too early? Or too late?): Bowman’s Bits

Geese on ice in January 31, 2017.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Do the geese on ice above know something? Anticipate something? Or are they just confused?

As Lady, our family’s mutt, and I crossed the railroad track this morning separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, I did a double take when I spotted a couple dozen geese walking on the water of the north old clay pit.

Now, I am sharp enough to know Canada geese do not have the cognitive ability to harbor messianic ambitions, so their walking on water must have had a more literal or practical sense.

From my initial angle, I could not see the ice that had formed since Sunday night, but as we walked closer I could make out a very clear coat of ice on the north pit. I did not anticipate ice forming with the wind yesterday. Our town pond opened up a week ago and I did not anticipate serious ice reforming again this year. And I suspect the wind today will wreck it pretty thoroughly.

But back to the geese. Do they know the wind will shred the ice today? Or are they just kind of stupid and stuck walking around on thin ice? Or some nuanced situation in between.

Such things twirl through my mind. And if I have the time, I try to funnel them into something like Bowman’s Bits.

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