My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, March 22, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: Spring on the Wing

As I mentioned in my Vernal Equinox post, we've enjoyed a few lovely warm days recently. Just before heading out on a long walk with the dogs during one of them, I pocketed my little EasyShare camera (more manageable than my Rebel when walking three dogs!) in hopes of capturing some harbingers of spring. My last minute instincts were rewarded when several skeins of geese (a gaggle is a group of non-flying geese) flew overhead...


One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, 
cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring. 
~Aldo Leopold



And here's a gaggle, patiently waiting for their swimming hole to finish thawing...



I also spied this bird's nest, photogenic against the pretty blue sky as it waits for its tree to leaf out and its tenants to arrive from their winter sojourn to raise a new family...


Happy Friday, Happy SkyWatching, and

For more skies from Equinox week in both hemispheres, check out...

36 comments:

  1. What lovely shots of the geese.

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    1. Thank you ~ I think Canada Geese are very photogenic!

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  2. Wonderful shots of the geese doing their different formations.

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    1. Thank you! They were flying low on approach to a nearby pond, so as you can see in the first photo, their "V" formation was already breaking up. And there were a few stragglers showing up late. There always are. :-)

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  3. What a lovely series! Love it and the nest waiting in the bare tree, fantastic! HSW

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and share my appreciation for the nest photo, even though it doesn't contain the action of the geese pics. :-)

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  4. Fantastic shots. I love seeing the birds in flight.

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    1. Thanks, so do I! Love to hear them, too.

      There were a lot of bird-in-flight photos on today's SkyWatch! 'Tis the season...

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  5. Replies
    1. I know! It looked downright summery! (We had a couple of summertime-looking thunderheads off in the distance during those balmy days, too!)

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  6. YES, the Canadian Geese are on the move. A harbinger of spring. Did not know about skein. Learn all the time on blogs. -- barbara

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    1. We've some had Canada geese around much of the winter, actually, which surprised me. But now there are much larger numbers and they are very busy and very talkative. :-)

      I'd first written "gaggle" to describe the groups of airborne geese, but then something started fussing vaguely in the recesses of my memory, so I looked it up to be sure that was the right term and saw that it wasn't. So I'm glad that I was able to pass on that interesting little piece of info! I agree, I'm always learning things from blogs, sometimes even from my own! :-)

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  7. Lovely bird shots,looks like everyone is happy when spring arrives.

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  8. The birds nest against the blue sky is quite a capture!

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    1. Thank you! Glad you liked that one.

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  9. What a magical spring affirming post. Megathanks. I suppose I am asking too much in wondering whether you know what flavour bird owned that stunning nest?

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    1. Most welcome, Ellie! Wish I could say I was aces at identifying bird nests by species, but I suck at it. :-) I can recognize a magpie nest, an oriole nest, an eagle nest (usually), and a hummingbird nest, but that'a about it! This might be a robin's nest, but I'm just guessing. I'll make it a point to walk by it whenever I can before it vanishes behind a treeload of leaves and see if I can see and identify any birds that make it their home.

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  10. PS: I love the lilacs in your header photo - I have now planted six bushes and have probably not finished yet. I don't think I have that colour so I can't stop yet.

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    1. Thank you! And no, you can't possibly stop till you have this color. LOL - you crack me up! This was a very large, very old lilac bush in one of Sheridan's turn-of-the-last-century neighborhoods. A real beauty in a town full of big, beautiful lilac bushes in every color. It'll be another month or two before they start blooming, but in the meanwhile, we can enjoy this photo. Too bad it's not a scratch-n-sniff! :-)

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  11. I'm pretty sure I saw those geese folks heading your way earlier this month. I'm glad to see they made it. :-)

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    1. I'm sure you did, as one of them honked to me, "veganelder said to tell you howdy!" :-)

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  12. A gaggle here, a gaggle there.....everywhere a gaggle-gaggle ;-). Spring is in the air! xoxo

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    1. Well, yesterday the air was bitterly cold and moving at about 40mph with snowflakes in it, but even so, there are signs of spring here and there! :-) The geese are showing up in droves... I can hear them even when I can't see them! I love it.

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  13. Do geese stay by you all winter or only come back in the spring? We seem to have a large amount that stay here year round. If I had wings I'd certainly fly south for the winter!

    I love how they're all facing the same way. :)

    Just yesterday I pulled into our driveway while a crow was taking off with a large bit of mulch from our landscaping. So, I'm hoping that's a good sign that spring weather will be here soon.

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    1. Some do stay all winter, I've seen them at times flying from local pond to local pond. But only a dozen or fewer at a time. I wonder what makes some of them decide to hang out in our cold climates all winter? Don't they know they'll never accumulate enough frequent flyer miles for a free ticket that way? :-) I think I'd be winging my way at least as far south as the bougainvillea grows!

      I know, I kept trying to see if they were all looking at something, but my inadequate human eyesight, hearing and sense of smell failed me, as usual.

      Ah, clever crow! We love to brush out the soft undercoat of the girls at this time of year and leave it where the birds can grab it. As long as they don't mind eau de canine, it would make a lovely nest lining!

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  14. lvoely! I still have not seen canadians where I live. But hopefully they will come soon. :)

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    1. It never occurred to me that Canada geese travel to Sweden! Lucky them. :-) They're probably winging their way to your neighborhood as we speak. :-)

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  15. Fantastic shots of birds in the flight.

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    1. Thank you, Rajesh! Sorry I missed seeing your comment until now.

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  16. I have never ever heard of a skein of geese and if it wasn't you saying it's so, I wouldn't believe it but you I believe. How odd a word. Of course I'm quite familiar with the skein of yarn and the skein of cord and using it to describe flying geese, it's not even in the same ballpark of meaning; it's rather odd. But then the English language is nothing if not odd.

    I'm only working a half day tomorrow and will get on the road right at my lunch time so I thought I'd check in tonight since I also missed today. I actually had a lunch time; I just spent it all walking from one building to another because the training I took was not in the building it said on the calendar. It's about 7-8 mins from my building to the admin building and I did a round trip during what would have been my lunch. But on a positive note, it was a brisk sunny day and quite pleasant and it was good exercise.

    Too bad I didn't see any geese on my walk to tie into this post but I hear that they do nest along the locks so surely I'll see some sometime. In the meantime, your photos of them were a nice reminder that spring is coming! I liked the 4th photo where all of their wings were in different stages of up and down!

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    1. What a fun surprise to see you here in the evening! :-) I'm glad you got to enjoy some fresh air and exercise during your lunch hour. It was VERY warm and sunny here, and I did some basking while on the phone to my mother (the warm sun taking the edge off, if you get my drift, lol), and took the dogs for a nice long walk afterwards. It's still really balmy out..

      So you can't see the resemblance between a flock of flying geese and a long, loose coil of thread? Look again! :-) I decided to look up the origin of the word "skein," but before I found it I found this great Aldo Leopold quote, which I've now added below the first photo. Wish I'd had that quote when I was putting this post together!!

      That would have been cool if you'd seen a skein of geese on your walk! A pair of honkers flew low right over my head while I was on the phone with mom today - that was fun! Especially since they didn't poop or nuttin'. :-) I really like that same photo - their varied wing formations really show up great.

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"