• 52°

Glad to see return of Canada geese and welcome fall to Gold Hill

By Marjorie Ritchie
For the Salisbury Post

Autumn is about to make her appearance in Gold Hill. The muscadines are ripening, the soybean fields are turning gold, and the Canada geese are flying back home. I appreciate the beauty of the muscadine vines and the golden soybean fields, but I have a special place in my heart for the Canada goose. No one has missed these wonderfully obnoxious waterfowl more than my bird dog, Luke, and me. In late spring, they departed Gold Hill for destinations unknown, and now they are returning to the farm field and pond behind my home.

What attracts me to these large, cacophonous creatures? The answer is that they simply provide comic relief in the early and late hours of my daily life. In a world marked by the chaos and cruelty of a pandemic and political pandemonium, I simply need to laugh and celebrate the good and joyous side of life. Therefore, during the early hours of sunrise and the twilight hours of evening, I step outside to listen to the raucous honking of the Canada geese as they depart and return to the farm pond.

Surely there is a translation of the Bible that says, “On the fifth day, God created the Canada goose. And he saw that it was good and He laughed out loud.” Laughing is just what I do when I see Luke, our Don Quixote bird dog, chase the shadows of the geese as they fly over in the predictable V-formation. If I listen carefully enough, I think I hear the geese cackling because they know they have sent my bird dog into a tizzy or conniption fit. In the evening when the geese have landed on the pond for their bedtime, I hear a cacophony of honking, squawking and hooting for several hours before they settle down to sleep. I believe there must be a great number of female birds in this flock because they sound like the old ladies gabbing at my mother’s bridge games.

Apart from the comic relief they provide, Canada geese ultimately demonstrate the creator’s display of intelligent design. Once sleep has come for the goose, half of his brain sleeps while the other half remains awake to listen for signs of any predators approaching the pond. This type of sleep is known as “unihemispheric slow-wave sleep” or USWS. Many avian species, as well as aquatic ones, display this phenomenon. While a flock of geese is flying in the V formation, they can utilize USWS to follow the lead bird and catch some “Z’s.” Unfortunately, too many humans have become like geese navigating the highways with half of their brain awake. No wonder there is so much “honking from behind.”

Finally, I am glad that autumn is returning to Gold Hill. I am glad that the Canada geese are back, and Luke will enjoy his elder years chasing their shadows. I am thankful for the gift of nature and the moments of comedy she provides. I take comfort in the clues of intelligent design in these wonderfully obnoxious birds. Happily, I welcome them back home to Gold Hill where the muscadines and fields are ripe with beauty.

Marjorie Ritchie lives in Gold Hill.

Comments

Crime

Salisbury man arrested for running from deputies in smoke shop, tossing gun under table

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with indecent liberties, first degree sex offense

News

Council to discuss potential changes to Downtown Revitalization Incentive grant program

Local

Election 2021: Bowman challenging Taylor in Rockwell mayor’s race

News

Public safety, city manager, economy: Mayoral candidates Alexander, Heggins discuss city’s biggest issues

Elections

Political Notebook: Rowan Democratic Party makes endorsements for municipal races

Local

Spencer looking for big impact from new storefront grants

Granite Quarry

Election 2021: Granite Quarry’s new mayor will be a veteran or a newcomer

Ask Us

Ask Us: If I received my vaccine in another county, is it recorded in Rowan?

Local

Young entrepreneur raises $1,000 for Rowan County United Way with lemonade stand

News

Election 2021: Candidates in East Spencer hoping to continue moving town forward

News

Election 2021: Candidates detail their visions, goals if elected to Salisbury City Council

China Grove

Election 2021: China Grove Town Council candidates detail approaches to handling economic, residential growth

Cleveland

Election 2021: Four candidates competing for three seats in town of Cleveland

Local

County hopes software will streamline foster home licensing process

Local

Election 2021:Four vie for pair of seats on Granite Quarry board

High School

High school volleyball: Carson tops Mustangs again

News

Judge: No waiting on NC budget to act on school funding

Nation/World

2 more House Democrats retiring, underscoring 2022 obstacles

Crime

Man jailed for shooting at Davie detectives in Rowan County given $560,000 bond

Crime

County Commissioner Craig Pierce pleads guilty to driving while intoxicated

BREAKING NEWS

Overdose call turns into homicide investigation on Ted Lane

Crime

Court judgment requires occupants to vacate Gheen Road home, site of two murders

Crime

Blotter: Oct. 17