"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind... We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith." -- Margaret D. Nadauld

Monday, March 29, 2010

Travellin' Through

Over the weekend we took a drive up the Interstate to a wildlife refuge. Right now the snow geese are migrating from the warmer areas in the American South and Southwest, back to the Arctic Tundra where they breed and spend their summer months. Apparently, Florin and the surrounding area is one of their flight paths and they stopped to rest from their 5000 mile journey at some wildlife refuges in the area.

It was an amazing sight! Even Buttercup, who is usually underwhelmed at things in nature (overwhelmed at things in the mall...) was sufficiently impressed with what we saw. When we got to "Big Pond" there were literally thousands of geese peacefully swimming in the chilly water (someone estimated that there were about 6,000). We aren't sure exactly what happened, but something spooked them and, as if they were one, they frantically took flight and took their cacophonous symphony to the air. (There are bald eagles nests near by and one of our fellow observers thought that maybe an immature bald eagle had flown in the middle of the flock. We think it looked like a hawk)

I am posting a video I took while we were there, and you can kind of get a hint of what it was like when they took flight, but this doesn't do it justice. Those birds just flew higher and higher and higher.... circling the pond and eventually, most of them moved off to ..... somewhere else. Whether it was another pond in the area or if they decided that they could keep moving north, we don't know.

It was interesting to watch. There was lots of panic, chaos and noise as they left the pond, but as they got higher in the sky, we could see them move into their normal "V" formations with their family groups. And even though there were thousands of birds flying above us, things seemed to be organized. There was an odd goose flying solo, trying to find their group, but for the most part, the skies were full of families, sticking together and helping each other out.

We told the kids to keep their mouths shut as they watched the bird fly and we're sure glad we did. Buttercup and I were enjoying the beautiful sights overhead when we heard a plop in the grass right in front of us.... Whewwwwww! A near miss!

This is when the geese first started flying

We think this hawk (or young bald eagle) started the melee.

The geese are starting to get organized!


Not all the geese flew away. These decided Big Pond was where they wanted to stay for a while.

We couldn't drive past this sign without stopping!
(Buttercup doesn't embrace the fact that she has red hair too, so she wouldn't get out of the car.)

Buttercup is taking a photography class in high school. She took this for one of her assignments. I think she did a good job!
I know this video is quite lengthy. I was so enthralled with the geese that I couldn't push stop when I was recording it. And I don't know how to edit. Watch as much as you like....


Caroline said...

That really messes with your eyeballs after 3 minutes and 44 seconds. Haha. Very cool!

Connie said...

I've never seen anything like it! It reminds me of the story told in Fried Green Tomatoes about the ducks that sat in the lake, the lake froze and when they flew off they took the lake with them. I think that many geese could actually do that, if there was a mega freeze!
Buttercup's picture is definitely assignment worthy!

gelly said...

That is amazing and so beautiful!! Your family does so many fun things together!

Roger and Barbara said...

I'm so glad you could go and see what we were talking about. And how very fortunate to see them all take off together. We saw that at Freezeout Lake and it left us speechless!

Wees said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Yvonne said...

That is amazing. Can't believe it. That first shop is incredible. I definitely would have kept my mouth closed.

Great job, Buttercup, on your picture.

Love the Redhead Pond.

Amber said...

I like how Buttercup says 'Thank you' at the end and then you call her a wuss. Nice. :)