Getting Goosed This Autumn
- Being Human
- Being Outside
- Boston Globe
- Earth and Sky
- Photography and Optics
- What's This?
IN THE WIDE OPEN spaces of the Champlain Valley, and bathed in the angled light of autumn, I suggest that you get goosed. Snow Goosed.
The white geese are passing through Vermont and New York — in migration from the eastern Arctic to wintering sites on the mid-Atlantic coast. You can track the migration and get up-to-date goose reports at my home for all your goose-viewing needs: The Snow Goose Scoop.
But please recognize that nature need not bend to our will — or desires. Even though Snow Goose numbers at sites in the Champlain Valley now range from about 2,000 to 5,000 on any given day, you might not find any of them. These animals do have wings, after all.
Here at Vermont’s prime site — Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison — the geese can sometimes drop into a wet depression in the land, and therefore become undetectable from viewing sites at the refuge, particularly the official parking area on Route 17. That’s not to say the geese won’t come close. But, as I explain in my backgrounder, Snow Geese are no longer as abundant (or cooperative) as they once were during the past 30 years or so.
But please do get outside for geese anyway. After all, particularly this fall, any day outside is better than a day inside. My pal Josh Lincoln and I didn’t see many geese this past Saturday, but we bumped into lots of other nature, including a flock of about two dozen Eastern Bluebirds, four Rusty Blackbirds, and two Vesper Sparrows. Monarchs and Painted Ladies are still migrating. We even found a late-in-the-season Bronze Copper, among my most favorite butterflies.
Beneath Josh’s bluebird and blackbird photos below, I’ve included a dorsal shot of the copper from Saturday, plus a lovely ventral shot of one from downeast Maine in June. Onward!