I went out to Falge Park the day after the big “round-up.” 

It was very eerie — so quiet, so sterile. To me the wetlands are a place that belongs to the critters who live there. It’s their domain. I know it can at times be inconvenient to our desires and needs. It can teach us patience. There is so much to learn from them, and wonder about, and laugh and enjoy the “free show.” One visitor commented to my friend, “I loved to drive through Ladysmith, and have to stop for the geese to take their young ones across the side.” It is amazing how they follow the same rules our school patrols follow in making sure everyone crosses safely. I wonder if that’s how our rules came to be. There are lessons on how to raise a family and bring them to productive adulthood. If parents bring their children to Falge Park, they can point out these lessons to them.

 In Falge I’ve seen geese, various kinds of ducks, herons, red-winged blackbirds, otters, deer, insects of all sorts. I heard animal calls. I can tell when winter is here for real by watching the geese. They don’t really migrate until the day or late afternoon before winter really hits, and then wave after wave of geese in V-formation fill the late afternoon sky with color and sound. The next morning, in the bitter cold, Falge Park is empty. The solitude of winter had begun.

So, I was mourning a bit when it was so “dull” at the park, no action. My adventure stories of the geese not only made me happy, but many others, because I would send them along with photos to my family, friends and Sisters in various parts of the United States. They delighted in hearing about them. A friend was surprised that they would be euthanized and given to food pantries. She said, “How will they label the package? How will people know how to prepare the geese?” It’s true from my work in Chicago. People like to get food that they are used to eating and know how to prepare. Sauerkraut and other European foods did not go from the pantry where we had Pacific Islanders, and Caribbean people. 

Then a few days later, in the early morning, as I was driving 27, I saw two groups of ganders, goose, and goslings eating grass along the side of the road. I was so happy they had escaped and were still there. I was glad that pair of geese with their 10 “kids” escaped. I wondered where they hid. I had to stop and take a picture of them. Now I can watch them get ready for the great migration. In addition, 300-400 geese will be stopping here at our amazing Falge Park wetlands to rest up before going the rest of the way.

Cecilia Fandel

Ladysmith

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