Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don’t Geese Have Calendars?

This morning, while sipping my (crucial) second cup of coffee, I shook my head, chuckled and said to self: “I must still be half asleep because I swear I just heard the sound of geese outside, which can’t be because it’s December and they’ve all left for the south”

And self said: “Maybe not all of them...”

So I ran to the window with my camera in hand (just in case) and what did I see?

”A miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer?”

Ah, no...but that certainly would have made a more interesting post.

I saw this:

Yes folks, those are actually geese up there, still hanging around my Canadian city here in Ontario. A northern city that is located in hardiness zone 5. A hardiness zone that makes me want to migrate to the south for the winter.

Autumn migration for Canada geese typically occurs from September to about the beginning of November. Now, according to my calendar, it’s the beginning of December, so the geese should be long gone. And yet, here’s a large group of them still hanging around.

I suspect that the surprisingly mild and wonderfully pleasant weather in November encouraged them to stay in town. And that’s all very nice, but one thing’s for sure about Canadian winters: it gets cold in the winter, damn cold. And even though you may get a few days now and then that are mild, don’t be fooled. The weather in Canada, especially this time of year, is a crap shoot. It can turn on you at any time. One day it’s sunny and mild, which gives you false hope that winter may just pass you by, and then BAM, a major snowstorm pounds the city and the temperature takes a wicked dive (even the hair in your nose freezes).

Someone should tell the geese it’s December and that they should hightail it out of here before it’s too late.

Don’t geese have calendars, for heaven’s sake?


  1. Hey thanks for faving my blog (Digging RI)!
    I guess if you've read it then you know I'm Canadian too - from Montreal. I found your post on the geese interesting. I remember when I lived in Quebec, the goose migration would be one of the pleasures of fall - seeing those skeins fly over and hearing the birds. Now that I live on the RI coast, we have Canada geese all year. I still love them, and I get to hear them flying over all the time! They spend nights on the salt marsh in front of our house.


  2. Hi - I enjoyed your blog - great bucket list- I know what you mean about migrating south. We are in South Dakota, zone 4 or 4b maybe against a sunny wall - Gloria

  3. Hi Cynthia, no problem about the faving; I really like your blog. And yes, I know from visiting your blog that you’re a Canadian. I’m also originally from Montreal. In fact, I lived there my whole life until this past June when I moved here to Kingston, Ontario. The goose migration is definitely one of the pleasures of fall.

    Hi Gloria, thanks for the nice comments, especially about the bucket list. As far as migrating south goes, perhaps when hubby and I are retired, we’ll run away to a warmer place where I can garden year round!

  4. Wonderful pictures, Martha, especially the last one. I love the bare trees (or bushes?) with the interesting formation of the geese above. We're not as cold as you down here in the North Carolina mountains, but we have the same changable weather. In fact we have a saying, "If you don't like the weather now, wait five minutes and it'll change." And we have some Canadian geese year round, so maybe some of them never migrate back? I guess that would make them North Carolina geese. :-)

  5. Those silly geese! Send 'em to my state - we're south and warm!

  6. How I miss seeing Canada geese heading to the south! When we lived in Kansas City, there were hundreds of them on our little lake behind the house. Thank you Martha for these images!

  7. Thanks Beth! My camera is quite old but it still manages to take some good shots now and then. I've no doubt that your weather is much nicer than ours; I can't imagine you suffering the same winter that we do. And I'm not surprised that you have Canadian geese that have 'flown the Canadian coop' (the traitors). Who can blame them for moving somewhere where the weather is nicer. I guess that would make them North Carolina geese :)

    Hi Tatyana, I guess I'm so used to having them here that I've never stopped to think about what it would be like to move somewhere where all my Canadian stuff would no longer be.