17 March 2023

a companion piece to a Goose Takeoff video that captured a Goose Event that helped to soothe my growing anxiety about finally moving away from this place after being trapped here by the pandemic, etc.

because I want to remember some details and remember some observations.

Over the course of about eight minutes, eight pairs of geese lifted off and flew away from our favorite Goose Island, here in the place we are currently located. 

We arrived at the Island around 0830 that morning, swept a bench of its snow, and lit a J. While enjoying the brisk snowfall after a 20-degree-Celsius-day the day before, after a short shift (the bodybuddy/lifemate's back tire was completely flat when we went to leave for jobbing [yes, we check it every day before we go to bed on job nights], and so, we were about ninety minutes late, and since I'm menstruating and my direct supervisor asked if I wanted to leave early, we left about an hour early), we had to burn some time before the place where we had to run an errand opened, so we burned some cash at an sbux (cause we never spend at sbux, cause fuck sbux, but it is fucking delicious *sigh*), warmed ourselves, caught up, and then ran our errand.

On our long way home, we—obviously—stopped at Goose Island to see whatever it is that we might see that day. My hope is—always—a Goose Landing, but like I say in the caption of my insta-upload (#tkscm), I have been beginning to feel the pangs of anxiousness as we embark on a move for the first time in three years. We were more accustom to more frequent international, long-distance outings, but I have been slow to embrace the reemergence of life post-pandemic, and so, this is, quite literally, the first time in three years we've left the walkable radius around our apartment, with one exception when we went about sixty miles away by free-bus during the August of 2022 for the "Zero Fare for Clean Air" campaign, etc. 

So, naturally, I'm all sorts of anxious, nervous, nauseous, and insecure. The ground beneath my feet has been feeling wobblier and wobblier as our departure date comes closer and closer.

And I've also been feeling impatient with life, in general.

Thus, I view this event as a small gift from the geese of Goose Island, in whom I've had the absolute most joy watching and observing over the past three years, sometimes daily. We took the long way home from work to see them, and as I waited to see some geese land, the geese in our presence took off. 

It wasn't until we were about halfway home that the event dawned on me the way that I'm writing about it now. I honestly didn't think much of it in an esoteric sense, because anytime I'm able to get any sorta good wildlife footage/photography, I am always so happy to have been at the "right place" at the "right time," etc. As we continued our bike ride home, I realized what I had just seen and what it thusly meant to me, personally, and I got teary eyed and nearly cried for like the third time that day (yesterday, Thursday, 16 March 2023). 

During the rest of our ride home, I began to piece together the video, as an idea. 

Back at the Island, while I was waiting for a landing, two geese who were sitting on the water began to swim up toward the shore and made their way onto land. They were big geese, and they slowly climbed up the low slope, and then, just as they were beginning to approach the sidewalk, they turned around and started honking back at the water. Then a pair on the water took off, into the air, and flew right over our heads and banked north. I was—obviously—thrilled. I had my camera out, ready to catch a landing, and did not even think to film the takeoff. 

Then the 0844 pair took off, and I caught it on my camera. Then I heard a squawk, and the two 0845 pairs took off together. When I was running each clip through the instagram stories feature in order to timestamp them, I was a bit disappointed that there isn't a perfect 0844-0850, the 0846 is missing. But then after putting the video together and watching it fifty times to make the video, I realized that the 0845 group is two pairs, the 0845 AND 0846 group, together! And I shrieked with joy! 

Thus, over the course of eight minutes, eight pairs of geese took off from Goose Island to head north, as pairs, within, what I assume to be, one larger sixteen-member group. 

The pair that takes off at 0849 was the pair that first climbed out of the water and walked their way to the edge of the pond's physical limit lest it flood. And the pair that takes off at 0850 were being balked at by the 0849 pair for about a minute while the other pairs were taking off. My theory is that the 0849 pair are the oldest and the 0850 were the youngest. I think that the not-filmed "0843" pair must be the most spry and most-capable as they were going to lead the pack. I also think that the 0849 elders were maybe serving as lookout to make sure they could count everyone. I think the 0845/46 two-pair pair were parents with their two kids. 

And finally, I think that the 0848 pair were my total favorite, because they were the only pair that didn't take off in a very coordinated, perfectly aligned, pair-flight takeoff. One took off faster and higher than the other, leaving the other to be cut out of frame, but then the other banks left harder and jets into frame. From their behavior, they are either the mutables of the bunch or they are perhaps stuck together as a pair but are not mating pairs, something like siblings or cousins, etc. 

I—obviously—am not an ornithologist or whatever it is that a goose scientist is specifically called, and so, these are all fun ramblings of my mind as I watch and observe a fascinating population of geese. 

a screenshot of the 0848 pair

I wish you well on YOUR Quest.

... sail on ...