October 29, 2011

Taking Flight

I was walking by the Fraser River just a few hours ago when I heard a series of unmistakable squawks.  The kind of honk I know like the sound of my own dog's bark, that of a Canadian goose.  Those of us who know can describe it best as a sort of squeal-ish honk, lost and forever calling home.  The racket belonged to well over a thousand geese resting noisily on a large pond.  I walked past captivated and moved on.  Twenty minutes later my walking took me back by the pond.  The geese were stilling swimming, more arriving every minute.  Fifty feet over my head a bald eagle gracefully flew, calm and silent.  He was close enough that I could see the yellow of his beak and feet, the white of his smooth round head and his large black slowly beating wings.  Seconds after my eyes left him there arose such a mind-boggling cry that I stood still.  Clamoring for the sky, each one of the hundreds of birds was in personal pandemonium.  They honked and swooped, climbing and rushing, the sky was dark with beating wings.  The black cloud flew twice around the pond as if looking for an exit on a crazy ride.   Gradually they dissipated, each goose going it's own way and the turbulence subsided.  I slowly took my eyes from the sky and continued on my way.

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