Friday, May 11, 2012

A goose story for Miss 'Shelle.

Chilliwack, BC is seperated by the Trans-Canada Highway. (aka "The Number One", "The Highway", "Trans-Can" etc) On the north side is "Old Chilliwack" and on the south side is "Sardis." I live on the south side. The main street in Sardis is "Vedder Road" and the two busiest intersections in the entire Chilliwack area are on this road. One, by the highway and the malls, and the other at the crossroads of shopping and residential. 

Along the road, a few blocks long, between a Tim Hortons and an Indian Buffet restaurant, is green space. On the other side of Vedder is older housing with their own creeks, some with ponds. The ponds and creeks are a favourite place for ducks and geese to nest. However, there's not a lot of space for take offs and landings in the residential waters. The green space across the way has much wider waters if more downtrodden grass and reeds. So, once the babies are waddling, ducks and geesies take their babies across the road.

To tangent a bit, I exercise by "urban hiking." Which, really, is just going for a 2 - 3 mile power hike through the town. Which route I go depends on how enthusiastic I feel and if I have any grocery shopping to do. It just sounds way cooler called "urban hiking."  (I do the old fashioned climb up and down hills and mountains hiking in the woods when my leg/back is cooperating, but that's less frequent every year.)  In my urban hiking, I often have to cross the road. I either use a crosswalk or a four way stop. One of my most commonly used crosswalk is in front of a school. I typically have to wait for fifteen or twenty cars to go by before someone remembers if there's someone at the crosswalk you're supposed to stop. (Teenagers and seniors seem to be better about this than us middle aged peeps. Guess who walks the most often..)

So, tangenting back to the Canadian Geese, every spring, we have water fowl who need to get their babies across the road. You'd think this would be a hazard. Nope. Everyone knows this happens in the spring, just like in the fall the squirrels are running back and forth the road like maniacs to move nuts about.  So its not unusual to come to a grinding halt at any given time because a couple of geese and their brood want to cross the road. 

Wednesday afternoon is a perfect example. I was driving south along Vedder, heading home, when the car in the left lane; which was a couple car lengths ahead of me, slowed to a stop. I spotted the goose standing on the curb and followed suit. He'd been quietly standing there while his mate tried to keep goslings in order.  Once we stopped he start to honk, LOUDLY, over and over before he started across the road, mate and babies following. They didn't honk, just him. And it wasn't any sort of call, it was just a rhythmic "I'm here" announcement. He stopped at the middle where an oncoming car had halted, seeming to check if the right lane north bound was safe before continuing.  As soon as he got to the curb he hopped up, continuing to honk though he was starting to lose volume. Babies hobbled up with beak bumps from momma goose, and Dad seemed to do a count before turning and ceasing his honkings. The babies and parents made for the wide water space happily and traffic started up again.

We western Canadians have our priorities. Humans can wait, animals are important. :)


  1. Loooooooooooooooove!!!! Thank you for this most enjoyable post! I also love the term "urban hiking." Too fun!

    1. I can't remember who I stole the term from, but I love it too. Power walking sounds so pretentious and saying "I'm going for a walk" tends to surprise people when they see you take off at mach 5.. :)

      Of course, I also have this habit of stopping suddenly to take pictures of faun and flora. :)

  2. Sounds like the geese were doing a bit of "urban hiking" themselves. At least this family was road-savvy; too many of them here get in the road and then can't remember which side they were headed for and do this weird back-and-forth shuffle until they get themselves straightened out. Dang tourists.