Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nature Study Tuesday---Geese

Outdoor Hour Challenge #2---Geese

The Outdoor Hour Challenge for the second week of Autumn was to look for geese and observe them flying overhead as they migrate south for the winter. The littler ones and I did this one day, and saw a perfectly formed "V" of them flying over the ready-to-be-harvested field of feed corn next to our house. It was like a song, listening to their honking...a sure promise of cooler fall weather to come. Ladybug eagerly went into the house and drew a picture of the geese as they flew over our barn, and a close-up of one lone goose over our house (this one she imagined).

We looked up Geese (ours were Canadian Geese) in the Handbook of Nature Study and this is what it had to say about the honking of geese in the autumn:

There is a sound, that, to the weather-wise farmer, means cold and snow, even though it is heard through the hazy atmosphere of an Indian Summer day; and that is the honking of wild geese as they pass on their southward journey. And there is not a more interesting sight in the Autumn landscape than the wedge-shaped flock of these long-necked birds with their leader at the front apex...The honking which reveals to us the passing flock, before our eyes can discern the birds against the sky, is the call of the wise old gander who is the leader, to those following him, and their return salute. He knows the way on this long thousand-mile journey, and knows it by instinct and in part by the topography of the country...The northern migration takes place in April and May, and the southern from October to December. The journey is made with stops for rest and refreshment at certain selected places, usually some secluded pond or lake. The food of wild geese consists of water plants, seeds and corn, and of some of the smaller animals living in water. Although the geese come to rest on the water, they go to the shore to feed.


Tex opted to draw his own two ducks instead (it was stated that you could draw any sort of water fowl, if you prefered), and here is his picture of his two Indian Runner Ducks, Quackers and Quackenstein. She is a fawn runner and he is a blue runner duck.

It was pleasantly fall-like all week here, with perfect days in the seventies, dropping to cooler temperatures at night. We have noticed that the animals are starting to grow in their winter coats, and the leaves are beginning to fall off the trees in sufficient numbers that Ladybug wanted to rake them up into a pile for her, Firefly, and Cowboy to jump in yesterday. We are hoping that these pleasant days last for at least a few weeks before it turns altogether cold, so we can really enjoy the season.

I hope this past week was a lovely one for you, as well.



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