Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Snow Geese

An abundance of geese

Greater Snow Geese (Anser caerulescens atlanticus), blue morphs in foreground, Alexandria, Ontario, D. Gordon E. Robertson, 2 April 2010

I asked my wife this morning if we should take today to go to the city for the things we needed, or if another day would be better. Then we got a message that the electricity would be turned off in our area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. That was our answer. School was cancelled for the day too. When we got home in the afternoon we heard the electricity never had been shut off.

On our way to the city we saw huge flocks of geese overhead. Occasionally there would be a field beside the highway that was covered with birds, thousands of them, the majority white but many a darker colour. Snow geese: we are located on their flyway and this is the time of the year they drop in to glean in the harvested fields. Snow geese are abundant, definitely not an endangered species. It is estimated that the breeding population is increasing by 5% each year.

At one time it was believed that the dark coloured geese that flock together with snow geese were a different species. Further observation has shown that they always flock together and that they interbreed. Nowadays they are all called snow geese, with two morphs of plumage colour: white and grey-blue. Not everybody has caught on to that yet, many casual observers still think they are two different species.

Sadly, many people have also not caught on to the fact that there is only one race of humanity, homo sapiens, with a great variety in colour and size. The Bible says we are all of one origin; the apostle Paul reiterated that on Mars Hill, saying all people are of one blood.

Evolutionary biologists used to dispute that, saying that there were different races of humanity. Genetic science has caught up with them, confirming Paul’s statement. Can we all just accept that?

Land of Living Skies

Our Saskatchewan license plates proclaim that this is the “Land of Living Skies,”  I suppose that refers to the gorgeous sunsets that we see pretty much every evening.  In spring and fall it could also describe the flocks of migratory birds that pass over our heads.

Especially in fall.  In spring the birds are in a hurry to get to their summer breeding grounds in the arctic, but in fall many of them linger for a month or two, gleaning in the harvested fields.

In summer, every pond, slough and lake is filled with ducks of some kind, along with a variety of smaller shore birds.  A few Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes spend the summer here, but most go farther north and are only seen, and heard, in spring and fall.  Tundra Swans pause here only briefly in spring and fall.

By now most of the birds of summer have left for a warmer climate, Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes were around in abundance for awhile but by now they too have moved on.

The Snow Geese are still here.  We can hear them on a nearby pond pretty well any time of the day or night.  Their voice is a little higher pitched than Canada Geese and they gather in much larger flocks.  There are two colour morphs among them, white and blue, with the white form being predominant.  As we drive down the roads we will see a field or a pond that is turned white by huge flocks of Snow Geese.  As we get closer, we see that there is some colour mottling because of the darker geese mingled with the white ones.

This morning at 7:30, I was sitting at my computer when I heard a sound above the humming of the furnace (yes, we are getting into that time of year here in Saskatchewan).  I rushed outside to look and there was a huge cloud of Snow Geese flying low overhead, all talking at once.  I believe there must have been 2,000 of them.  Probably heading for a field somewhere for breakfast.

Over half of these birds will have been born in spring and have never made this journey before.  But they know where they are going and next spring they will make the journey back along the same flyway, just as Snow Geese have done for as long as there have been Snow Geese.

 

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