The Watering Hole; Thursday February 12 2015; The Week That Just Was

It’s been a weird week. Last Thursday, the fifth of February, Obama attended the National Prayer breakfast, and when he spoke, he included a condemnation of all who ‘hijack religion’ and use it for tyrannical purpose even as they consider there actions justifiable by said religion. He was duly critical of the Islamic State aka ISIS, calling them a “death cult.” He was also critical of all religions who have, in their respective histories, irrefutable evidences of tyrannical behavior. He said, for example, that

“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

“So it is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”

From that point forward, the shit hit the fan bigtime in Wingnuttistan. In the days that followed, there clearly was more ‘Christian’ (I use the word loosely when it refers to far right wing adherents) outrage — more virulence — than most of us have seen in years, and it all came thundering down within a few days. I won’t bother to quote the vitriol, but for the curious, a quick peek here should satisfy: it’s where one Janet Mefferd Slams Interfaith ‘Garbage’ At National Prayer Breakfast and reveals a fairly good-sized chunk of wingnut Christian misinterpretation, especially of each and every word spoken by their arch-enemy — that Muslim-commie-fascist-Nazi-usurper — President Barack Obama.

OK, enough of Wingnuttistaniarrhea. There were other ‘happenings’ in the week that were a whole lot more interesting, happenings that I managed to record with my Sony (boy, do I like that 64X optical zoom and 20 megapixel resolution!) digital camera.

Here are a few captured moments from the past week. First, from February fifth (and note that even after the National Prayer Breakfast, the universe appears relatively undisturbed) a humble attempt at Monet-style impressionism with this inverted scene of shore and goose reflections in our slowly thawing local lake:

Geese 817 flipNext, the big event on the evening of that same day, the full moon rising behind the thinnest veil of winter’s hazy sky. Notice how, in spite of Obama’s earlier-in-the-day National Prayer Breakfast ‘blasphemy,’ the surface of the moon remains dutifully scarred, and even though it’s our nearest ‘heavenly’ body, it has obviously NOT been tossed from our view by a vengeful and merciless G– . . . Oops, never mind. Sometimes I tend to get carried away when the nuts come out — during the full moon, y’ know..

Rising moon 824On Feb. eighth (temp in the 70’s) most of the surface snow on the ice had melted, leaving behind only a series of goose tracks, dutifully recording the ‘pathways’ upon which they walked to/from the grassy area on the the shore where they like to hang out, and to/from their island roosting places:

Icy goose prints 827On the ninth — another mid-70’s day — the ice was melting fast and the honkers were, predictably, enjoying it. Most interesting was something I’d never before noticed in the local goose population which has been forever staffed with typically light brown Canadians. I don’t know whether these near-black critters are a variety of Canadian or another type altogether, but whatever, they seemed to get along with the more common locals, no problem. Here are a pair of the dark guys standing one rock away from a typical Canadian in the process of catching forty winks.

Geese rocks water ice 862Here’s a closer view, one of each.

Geese Canadian and dark 857 William Wordsworth once managed to sum up the enduring nature/human disparity when he wrote (in Intimations of Immortality) —

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a Mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Long story short: I can’t imagine why it is, but for some reason my tendency is to enjoy the natural world “out there” far more than the non-feathered two-legger’s domain — you know the place, “that imperial palace whence [we] came.” It’s where, according to Rick Santorum, ‘Sexual Activity’ Rights are Encroaching On Religious Rights.  Funny how geese and most other wild critters never seem to have that problem. Wonder why that is?




37 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday February 12 2015; The Week That Just Was

      • In this corner of rural Colorado, geese are amongst the most intelligent critters one might run across. And I assume that’s probably a reality most anywhere there happens to be flocks of geese on the loose!

        Looking forward to three months from now when the newbie hatchlings will start there annual takeover. 😉

        • I used to pass a farm pond on my way to work every morning where there was a Canadian goose with bright orange bill and feet. It was an amusing looking creature. It was there for years, so I guess the others accepted it even though it was different. Yeah, we could learn a thing or two from geese.

          • Yes, geese mate for life and each spring when the little ones show up, the parents protect them, and school them in everything it takes to be a successful goose. The adults are also tolerant. They seem to have no problems with visiting ducks, cormorants, mergansers, or other types of geese (there are a pair of barnyard geese — complete with head lumps — and a pure white snow goose) that live with and within the Canadian flock. There is clearly no ‘color’ bias of the sort that diminishes humans on a regular basis.

            Near as I can tell, here locally their only enemies are unleashed stray dogs, cougars, and idiot non-feathered two-leggers with guns.

  1. Canadian Geese are something of a pest problem around Portland. Populations have skyrocketed and they have destroyed new plantings of vegetables as well as lawns, and their gigantic fibrous poops make an incredible mess. From what I learned reading about Islay (Hebrides) one issue is that the goose’s favorite foods (grasses) have very little nutritional value to the goose–so they eat more to compensate. Which has been a long term (centuries) problem for the sheep farmers because Islay is on the migration path for a number of Arctic species. The traditional solution was to kill them and eat them, but the Royal Bird Lovers Bureau (or whatever) pays compensation for the pasture damage, based on bird counts. I’m guessing a lot of those Barnacle Geese still end up in the locals’ freezers.

    And now there are drones:

    Well, that was quite a digression. At any rate, it turns out the Canadian geese have a number of subpopulations, some of which are very difficult to identify and are either low population or are integral to some of the First People’s cultures up north. All of which means that simply going down to the golf course with shotguns isn’t a solution. There is a service here now that uses big dogs to run the geese off, but they simply move to the nearest unguarded field and go back to grazing.

    I do love to hear them fly overhead honking and thank FSM they don’t poop in flight.

    • (The Geese no longer migrated so the population become out of control)
      Local National Wildlife Center began oiling eggs and that aided in lowering the population.
      We still get to watch and listen to the geese and goslings!

      • “Canadian Geese are something of a pest problem . . .”

        Here too, some say. Poop on the sidewalk, geese on the golf course, etc. One thing I’ve noticed though, is that they’re FAR less annoying than rednecks in pickups, or wingnuts most anywhere, and they’re nowhere near as annoying as the idiots with shotguns out there goose “hunting.” Me, I’ll take the company of geese over those three human ‘varieties’ any day of the week. 😉

    • I’ve heard (but not tested) that Canadian Geese do not like Welch’s Grape juice (or any brand, I think.) If you spray some grape juice on the area where they’re stopping to eat, they’ll supposedly get turned off and fly off somewhere else. might be worth a try.

  2. A bird I wish would live or visit – Trumpeter Swan.
    When I visited my cousin in Alaska was totally engrossed watching these elegant birds.

  3. Sorry, this isn’t about geese. 😉

    Roy Moore’s Showdown With The Courts Over Gay Marriage Tied To The Work Of Neo-Confederate Leader

    Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore threw his state into turmoil this week when he ordered probate judges to defy a federal judge’s ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Moore, who has a history of making extreme anti-gay statements, insists that the federal judge is the one who is really breaking the law since she violated divine law by ruling for marriage equality.

    Moore’s call for statewide defiance of the federal judiciary’s “tyranny” stems from a belief that the Constitution was made to protect biblical commandments, so that anything that goes against his personal interpretation of the Bible is therefore in violation of the Constitution.

    Moore shares that belief with a powerful ally: Michael Peroutka, a neo-Confederate activist who is also one of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in the Religious Right’s reimagining of American law.

    Peroutka, who once held a leadership position in the neo-Confederate League of the South and remained a member of the group until it hampered his run for a local office in Maryland last year, promotes this theocratic view of the law through his group the Institute on the Constitution. Speaking at an event at the Institute in 2011, Moore gushed that Peroutka would help lead America to a “glorious triumph” over the federal government’s “tyranny.”

    But Peroutka is more than a friend and ideological ally to Moore: he has funded Moore’s activism for more than a decade, and in 2012 bankrolled Moore’s successful campaign for the top seat on the Alabama Supreme Court.

  4. CBS correspondent Bob Simon was not wearing a seatbelt when he was killed in a crash while riding in the back seat of a for-hire Lincoln Town Car, New York police said Thursday.

    The city does not require the use of seatbelts in the back of “livery vehicles” such as cabs, Town Cars and limousines in the city.

    Simon, a correspondent for 60 Minutes, was riding on the West Side Highway when the driver lost control, hit a Mercedes-Benz stopped at a red light and then struck the median, police said.

    Emergency responders found Simon, 73, unconscious in the backseat of the mangled vehicle with injuries to his head and stomach. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center.

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