Honk If You’re A Goose

animal wisdom earth wisdom weather Sep 28, 2022
Red Barn

Fall has fallen. I love this time of year, it is my absolute favorite.

Here in Colorado, the change of seasons isn’t real obvious. It’s kind of like, hot, hot, warm, warm, warm, warm, snow. And winter is upon us, even out here on the plains where we have a view of the front range, but are not actually in the mountains.

Part of our view - Pikes Peak, to be exact, and some of its mountain friends on either side.

The horses are starting to sprout their winter coats. We seldom put blankets on the horses, as I want them to get nice and fuzzy, so they can continue to roam the pasture. They love that, and it’s good for them. When it gets bitter windy (not for a couple months still), or we have a blizzard (pretty much a non-event in the last couple of years), we put what’s called a sheet on them. It’s waterproof, and keeps the wind off of them. Other than that, they go au natural. 

They like fall, too. This year, I’m noticing a little bit more snap in the air in the early morning (before it gets up to 80, like today), and they feel frisky and good. It’s so much fun to see them gallop across the field, tossing their heads and kicking up their heels. Even our old guy, Tango, will pick ‘em up and put ‘em down, keeping up with the speedier (and younger) members of the herd.

One of the things that always heralds this time of year is the geese. We’ve had several flights go over our house in the last few days. Honk, honk, honk, the leaders telling the laggards to get a move on, and stay in formation, for crying out loud. They seem to enjoy circling like a bunch of bumbling fools when they’re around our area, sorting themselves out, and then, in a beautiful V formation, heading to their wintering grounds. My guess (since I’m not well-versed in goose freeways), is that they having an overnight stop somewhere near us (which we can’t see), and what we’re seeing is the morning scrum as everyone gets the sand out of their eyes and takes to the air.

I suppose flying south can be boring, so they spice it up by looking like they don’t know what they’re doing. One day last week, about 20 of them went in a completely different direction from the rest of the flock. A couple of representatives from the primary flock buzzed over and set them straight - the 20 had a good laugh, and then rejoined their pals.

Another herald of the coming winter is the silence of the Meadowlarks, as they also head south. They are not as blatant as the geese. They seem to disappear, one by one, and pretty soon there is no more pretty song. A Meadowlark actually came and sat on top of our catio yesterday, and chirped. I’ve never seen one so close. They usually hang out in the tall grasses. It seemed to be saying “See you later.” And then it flew off, hopefully to winter someplace where they are safe and cosseted.

We revel in the fall, and bid our friends farewell for now. Safe flying. See you later. 

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