What’s That Sound?

by Donna Lewis

You know that sound without looking. It’s the Snow Geese returning from the arctic tundra and northern parts of Canada to stay in the Southern parts of the U.S. and along the coastlines.

They make a sound that people from around here remember from childhood, and it’s one of the few good things I remember that are still here. I hope it will always be here for me and those who come after.  It’s comforting in a primal way.

Photo by Andy Wilson on iNturalist.

I saw a flock of about thirty-five geese this morning around 10:00 am. I was so happy I just wanted to share the moment with someone. 

Lucky for me, Rusty was by my side, and I pointed them out to him. Rusty is one of our dogs.  He seemed to understand. Well maybe?

The Snow Goose actually comes in two colors.  The experts call that a morph. There is the traditional white morph and a second dark morph, sometimes called the blue morph. The blue Snow Goose is gaining in numbers, because the white goose is an easier target for both predators and hunters.

Both morphs. Photo by Paul Donohue on iNaturalist.

The geese flock to marshes, farm fields and edges of coastal wetlands. Many of these marshes are being drained for housing projects now. So sad. If you look up at them passing over in their V grouping you can see the long necks, mostly white bodies, and black wing edges.  The dark morphs are harder to identify, at least by me.

The geese make more of a honking call, while the Sandhill Cranes make more of a trilling sound.  They came through a few weeks ago. I hope you go outside while the weather is still warm and clear and look to the skies. The geese are here.  Winter is on our doorsteps.