The Girl Behind the Camera

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Did you know Canadian geese can dive underwater?

My mom made a comment on my last post in my other blog that reminded me of a set of pictures that I definitely needed to publish.

Even though this blog isn't supposed to have much in the way of written words - I should explain these a little.

Our little lake in Northern Ontario (where I was born and raised) has in the last few years become home to a family of Canadian geese that grows bigger every year. These geese have decided that rather than spend their days in the uninhabited part of the lake, that instead they should hang out and poop in all of the public beaches and swim around in front of all of the docks and places that people usually swim.

The first year we saw them, everybody thought the baby geese were "so cute" and spent time feeding them bread crumbs from the end of their docks.

Then the babies grew up, pooped more, and came back each summer to have their own babies. Geese have a LOT of babies.

Even though we used to feed them ourselves, we now cuss at the people who feed them because it means they'll stick around the area where all the people are.

My father and several other cottagers with boats came up with the idea of herding the geese into the other half of the lake where there are no people so they can poop and honk all day long if they want without disturbing anyone.

This process sounds easy, but take a LOT longer than we expected. Possibly because the geese might be just smart enough to see a speeding motorboat headed their way and haul ass to shore instead of staying on the water. So the herding process required a lot of patience (which my father doesn't always have) and a lot of skill in keeping the boat just fast enough to scare them in the direction you want them to go without running them over / sending them flying to shore.

Before you get angry with my dad for scaring them away, keep in mind that swimming / stepping in goose turd can ruin even the nicest summer day at the lake. People actually gathered on their docks to watch the goose herders tear around in their boats, laughing and taking pictures. My mom had the brilliant idea that we should hop in with our cameras and try for some up-close action shots. In addition to trying not to drop our cameras in the lake, we had a great time trying to hold them steady to catch pics of some pretty impressive maneouvering on the part of the geese. For such big birds, they're very agile...

Here are some of the pics I took while riding shotgun in the boat on one of the "herding missions". I tried to get a picture of the goose that kept diving underwater like a loon (the bird) but well... he was underwater.

After successfully completing Operation: Scare / Chase Geese into 2nd Ella (the cottager's nickname for the part of the lake that's uninhabited), all was calm on our lake again.

Not sure how long the calm lasted... These two look like trouble...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cranky Swans

At first they all seemed to get along

Then the goose apparently did something to piss him off

Yep, this swan is biting him

Apparently Canadian / British relations aren't so great after all ;)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A day in the park

In the midst of all of the swans, ducks, pigeons, and other unidentifiable birds, are several dozen Canadian geese. Just as bold as back home, the birds wander through crowds of people. These two had a nice walk around the grass before going back into the pond to cool off.

Jeremy & Eve chatting on the grass

Running away from mom & dad in hopes of swimming with the birdies.

So you're from Canada, eh?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Around the Round Pond

Gotta love the ever-efficient Brits. Instead of thinking of a fancy name for this pretty little piece of water in Kensington Gardens, they call it "round pond". Cause that's what it is - a round pond.

There are tons of wildlife around this park, with a few dozen swans and (sigh) Canadian geese hanging around all day, eating grass (I decided I've taken enough pictures of Canadian geese, so there aren't any for this post). These birds are so used to people that you can walk right up to them and they don't care.

The swans were my favourite - I had no idea their feet were so big! Very cute and much larger when you walk up to them than when you see them in a zoo.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Random London Pics

Sitting on dirty stairs in front of my new building (because I can get free internet access here and won't have my own internet until next week), I decided to stop neglecting this poor blog and post some more pics.

No theme to them really - just pictures I've taken since we moved here.

The first and only silver birch tree I've seen since leaving Canada. Interestingly, it was planted on the corner of Ladbroke Grove - one of the main streets in Notting Hill.

Graffiti on a wall near Notting Hill

The top of the Golden Jubillee Bridge

Foreign Coke cans

Friday night traffic in Westminster