This past Saturday morning at about 8 am, the local residents near Lake Raponda were treated to an extraordinary event that took place out in the middle of the lake: a flock of about 32 snow geese had camped out the previous night, presumably for a rest on their flight from the Mexican Gulf to the far northern Canadian arctic tundra. This day was a morning of overcast skies, with Raponda still completely frozen over and six to nine inches of snow lingering on the ground, as a remnant of a long, cold, and snowy winter that has been trying its best to end.
On Saturday after several prior subfreezing days and nights, the outside had warmed up to a “toasty” 38°F. On this morning out in the middle of Raponda was seen a close-knit group of what at first glance appeared to be an incongruous sight: a flock of herring gulls. These birds were large, mostly whitish, with black tails. Most seemed to be asleep as their heads were bent next to their bodies, making it all but impossible to see their heads. Once a few of the birds briefly stirred from their night’s rest showing off their all white, goose-billed heads, and with a few flapping their wing to show off black coloration towards the ends of their wings, it was clear that these were not gulls, but were snow geese!
By about 9 o’clock after they had all awoke, seemingly at the same moment, they decided it was time to get back on track with their trip north. In doing so they off took flight together en masse, with all members gradually and dutifully falling into their characteristic V-shaped flight formation. As they soared off into the overcast morning sky, it was a glorious and wondrous sight, and an indication that spring would be here before long. For those lucky enough to see this, it confirmed what a wonderful, awe inspiring place we are lucky enough to live in here in the Valley.
Now, if only our democratically elected state and national legislatures could both fly and soar together as one, like the snow geese, we might then be better for it.
Nicki Steel and Jack Widness