Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
~ John Muir
(Wildflowers at the Alluvial Fan area in RMNP)
Yesterday while eating lunch, M and I watched a flock of geese fly over the pond, honking out their message to come join them in their travels. As we watched we both encouraged them to keep flying, keep flying, keep flying. Geese are not good pond-guests. They move in, poop all over the grass around the pond, invite hundreds of their friends to join them, have babies, outwear their welcome, and then come back year after year, making a mess of the place. And, as I’ve mentioned before, the poop provides way too many nutrients and causes a heavy growth of algae in the pond which is neither pretty nor healthy.
We’ve worked hard to keep the geese away from our pond. We harrass them which is a good way to get your exercise in for the day as it involves running towards the geese, waving your arms, and making lots of noise. If that doesn’t work — and it usually doesn’t because the geese can move from one side of the pond to the other faster than most people can run — M gets out the garden tractor and drives around the pond, chasing them off. Usually that works. We have also tried bottle rockets (they don’t like the loud noise and we never, ever try to hit them) and a variety of other methods.
This year we have had a great deal of help from our neighbors, more specifically from their dogs. At first I wasn’t too thrilled that they allowed their dogs to run free, but M pointed out that they were chasing off the geese. Score one for the neighbors’ dogs. Score ten or twenty or a hundred for that matter, as every goose chased off ought to score them a point.
I was glad to see the geese ignoring our pond as they flew over yesterday. I don’t like to have to go out to harrass them, even if I don’t mind the exercise. Sometimes it makes me feel a little guilty, as if I’m turning away guests. Then I remind myself of what happens when you invite them in and the guilt dissipates. Bad pond guests are almost as bad as bad houseguests.
If only they would learn to clean up after themselves…