Sunday, October 2, 2011

Geese! People!

Continued high water on the river has kept all but the heron and this small flock of vegetarian geese away from the cascading river. Below is a quick charcoal sketch of four Canada Geese mowing the lawn in the park. They used to dine regularly on bread and Cheerios™ provided by local youngsters until the biologists discouraged the practice. And you can see why: the geese stop migrating for food and lounge around like panhandlers all year long. Goose droppings are everywhere (be careful where you sit Rob!). The geese are graceful but you know as well as I that geese are not very friendly birds. And swans are worse (but that's another story).
I do enjoy observing the group dynamics though: one bird appears to be the lookout while the others determinedly rip at the grass. If something is amiss, they huddle and get skittish.

geese at the South Natick Dam
Sept. 29, 2011, charcoal
© 2011 Rob Dunlavey

"…it was  a misty, moisty morning…"

You might be able to see a fisherman way down by the bridge in this photo. Another fisherman with gelled hair wearing a black leather vest and tight jeans joined him but instead of a rod and reel, he used  an "old-fangled" Pocket Fisherman™. I remember the incessant ads for these when I was younger. Soon, the pocket fisherman was just a ball of tangled fishing line and the hipster left to get some more string.

On the opposite shore was a group of twenty recruits from the Massachusetts Fire Academy practicing water rescues.  They were clad in hi-tech helmets and wet suits. One by one, like ducklings, the stepped off a ladder into the fast-flowing river and bobbed downstream for a few seconds before they were "rescued" by one of the more senior "mother ducks". Then they'd clamor out, splashing in the shallow water and do it again. Too bad it wasn't a nice summer day!

I was intrigued by the heavy walnuts hanging from the Black Walnut tree. Every once in a while one lets go and makes a loud splash and is  on its way to Boston Harbor.
Regarding the Massachusetts Fire Academy and its rescue drills: I'm proud of these men and women and despite all the craziness in politics and the economic stress in the world it's good to know that some folks have their priorities sorted out. Whatever the cost, this type of training and readiness adds a kind of stability to Life that is hard to quantify when all we seem to care about and consume is News. I guess they're a bit like that goose keeping an eye out for trouble.
One man's opinion folks —from Massachusetts no less! :-\

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