Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Reluctant Residents

This pair of Canada Geese and six goslings passed by the cabin this morning, just beyond the jetty. I took the picture through the front room window (80-year-old, rather uneven glass) so it’s not very sharp. There is a large feral population of Canada Geese on Strangford Lough including several breeding pairs near Islandmore. This is from Chapter Twelve of The Blue Cabin:

The wind moved into the north sometime during our third week. Squally showers came whipping down the lough and the dogs hung around the front door of the cabin waiting to be let in. The feral flock of Canada geese massing in black and white on the fringes of the shallow bay opposite became noisy and restless, sensing the change of season and unsure what to do about it. Introduced as ornamentals by private collectors over three hundred years ago, they have almost, but not quite, lost their migratory impulse, and each autumn and spring, as their settled existence is comprehensively disrupted by the coming and going of enormous migrant flocks of pale-bellied brent geese on an annual passage from Europe to the Arctic and back, something seems to stir within them, and like a gathering of homesick expatriates who chatter feverishly about home and can’t find their way to the airport, they jostle and bristle and honk themselves into a state of high agitation, martyrs to a vague and atrophied wanderlust – and stay put.

No wonder they get restless. Listening to them, I felt I understood their confusion and Lynn, to be honest, will probably have shared it
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