Geese, Belligerent Hissers or Docile Charmers?

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Watching these two lovebirds the other day, I couldn’t help but be entranced by their every move. I stood mesmerized by the ebb and flow as they made their way through the half frozen water.

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I found it hard to believe that these two Canadian Geese could be so serene and quiet as I stood there watching. My experience with geese never included those last two adjectives. In fact, the geese I knew were quite loud and quite agitated.

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When my husband and I moved into our first apartment, way back in 1990, Canadian Geese lived in multitudes on the pond outside our building. Every morning and every evening, they greeted my hubby and I as we tried to maneuver through their masses to get to our cars. No quietness or calmness ever played out in those meetings. In fact, most of the time we were met with consistent honking and belligerent hissing.

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Besides the harassment, we had to make sure we did not get anywhere near them. For surely, a close proximity would mean a couple of bite marks in our behinds. To make sure that didn’t come to fruition, we had to fumble with our keys or make nonchalant glances to the sky, trying to keep the appearance up that we had no interest in them. For the most part, this tactic worked. But many times, we were left running for our lives being chased by the hissing beasts. Oh yes, Remember when I told you their was multitudes of geese? Well, where there is multitudes of geese comes multitudes of doody. On top of all the hissing and honking, came the intense concentration on the asphalt below our feet. All the maneuvering as we tried to weave our way through the piles of doody, left me exhausted morning and night and feeling like I had just been through World War III(I may be exaggerating a bit, but gosh, these guys were irritating).

As you can see, I’ve never had an intense fondness for these birds. And I certainly wouldn’t want to waste my time watching them play out there day on a half frozen pond.

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But today, I’ve changed my mind.

Tweaked

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Through the trees and their branches, I spied The Ordway Shelter. A lovely picnic shelter located on The U of M Arboretum grounds. So nice to sit and eat your lunch, sheltered from the hot sun on a summer day. The shelter has many picnic tables to choose from, all perfect for enjoying a PB&J while gazing out at the beautiful bog. Nice to sit and view it from afar, it’s quite picturesque all on its own. I added a couple shots, sans shelter. Lovely all on its own, even without the piece of architecture. Again….straight out of camera and then tweaked.

Squirrels

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Caught these two characters while perusing the Arboretum last week. Thought you might enjoy some fun facts about these fun loving squirrels.

There are over 265 species of squirrel worldwide. The smallest is the African pygmy squirrel which is tiny at around 10 cm long, whereas the largest, the Indian giant squirrel is a massive three feet long.
When a squirrel is scared and feels that it is in danger, it will at first remain motionless. If it is on the ground, it will run to a nearby tree and climb to safety, and if it is already in a tree it will circle the trunk and press up against the bark tightly with its body.
Squirrels are very trusting animals, and are of the very few wild animal species which will eat out of a person’s hand.
In colder regions such as the UK, squirrels plan ahead in order to survive the challenging winter months. They store nuts and seeds at various locations and return to them throughout the winter to maintain their energy levels when food is scarce.
Squirrels tend to run in erratic paths. This is intended to deceive potential predators as to its chosen direction so that it may escape.
Squirrels are extremely intelligent creatures. They are known to put on elaborate bogus food burying displays to deceive onlookers. The fake burials are to trick potential thieves, such as other squirrels or birds, into thinking that they have stored their food stock there. Any observers planning on taking the stash will then focus on the bogus burial site, allowing the squirrel to bury the real stash elsewhere safely.
Tree-dwelling squirrels such as the grey squirrel build dreys (similar to bird’s nests) made of twigs high in trees. They are about the size of a football and are lined with grass, bark, moss and feathers for added comfort and insulation.
Squirrels communicate with each other through various vocalisations and scent marking. They also use their tails as a signalling device, twitching it when uneasy to alert other squirrels of potential danger.
There are 44 species of ‘flying squirrel’. Rather than actually flying, these species glide using a membrane which stretches from their wrists to their ankles. It allows squirrels to glide naturally like humans do with the aid of a parachute.
The squirrel is the Native American symbol for preparation, trust and thriftiness.
(Facts courtesy of OneKind.com)

Mrs. Cardinal

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She perched there on those bare branches, perfectly posed. Sitting quietly with her perfect profile.

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It was such a great moment. It’s like she knew I had been waiting for her. She realized that I had captured her hubby with all his boyish charms(cue his little head tilt).

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Awwww, that didn’t last long! Do you think she was offended when I mentioned her hubby’s boyish charms?