Longish geese post after the jump . . .
I've noticed over the years that in late summer or early fall, more geese arrive to join the main flock that lives and breeds here during the summer. I think the recent arrivals were born on this pond but have to breed elsewhere because of territorial constraints. Perhaps this reunion at the end of the summer is an extended family gathering. It feels like this is true.
These days, they're honking with each other all the time. There's a ton of social interaction going on out there. I think this is an important process for them, a getting-the-flock-in-order and letting-everyone-know-who's-in-charge kind of thing. It's also a way to learn who is fit and who isn't. There are quite a few fights among the males but Milo, the illustrious goose who leads the flock, always wins. And no one gets hurt in the process or holds a grudge. Geese are smart.
When I go out to see them, even when there are over 100 of them, my eyes go right to Milo. I can tell who he is by his demeanor. His walk, his interest in me and his silly facial expressions scream "Milo!" I love this bird. He seems to laugh as he walks toward me, though I know it seems odd to speak of a goose laughing. But he does! He is a marvelous bird, worthy of much praise (and poetry). Anyway, you wouldn't think you could pick one goose out of a flock like it was your Uncle Joe standing there, but that's just how easy it is to identify Milo.
I hate that the flock will leave soon. Too little time. I'll miss them.