The Waterfowl: What are they up to?

The days are getting shorter since the fall season has arrived. For those unfamiliar with fall, it is when the trees collectively desert the color green. Quickly regretting their decision, they abandon their leaves entirely and enter a winter of self-doubt and rediscovery. This week, I was not greeted again by my Deer friend. It’s okay. We just didn’t get the timing right. Our schedules must have never lined up. That’s okay. I’m fine. Instead I was greeted by the birds and bugs of America. 

Sept. 22, 4:50 p.m.: At a Convocation that lacked the usual intermission magic show, instead of being blessed by the presence of David Blaine spitting out frogs, we saw nine to twelve Canada geese fly right overhead, giving the viewer an excellent glimpse of their melonous underbellies. These Canada geese appeared to be flying down to Florida, probably to be with my aunt’s ex-boyfriend. Or maybe returning to Canada; I’m not too sharp with my cardinal directions. Speaking of cardinals, I didn’t catch any this week. They must have already made it to Florida. I also was not able to capture any photos of this magnificent goose meeting as I was far too engrossed in Convocation.

Sept. 23, 8:36 p.m.: Although Fall has begun, the abundant bugs have not decided to hibernate just yet. I was playing piano in Skinner Hall while a concerning centipede watched and listened. I let him know he wouldn’t be getting any free piano lessons from me. Later that night on my way over to the library from Skinner Hall, a field cricket blocked my way. He jumped across the sidewalk in a boastful sort of manner, almost as if he was looking to challenge me. I’ll have you know I’d never lost a jumping competition before (8-0) and I wasn’t gonna start then. I jumped a good 18 inches off the ground when it was my turn and won handily. He skittered out to the grass having accepted defeat. 9-0.

Sept. 25, 7:08 p.m. I was in the middle of a phone call with my mother while staring blankly out at the single log in the middle of Sunset Lake when I witnessed a heron come down from the sky and perch on that little log. I put my mother on hold. I had never met a heron before, but based on its long black eye-streak, it seemed to be of the great blue variety. From its  shorter stature, which I didn’t expect of the bird, I deduced it was the smaller female. She perched there alone in the middle of the lake reflecting. I wondered if this great blue heron ever called out to her mom. I wondered if she told her mom about the fish that she caught for the day and if she told her about the days when she didn’t catch a single fish. Her mother might respond, “That’s okay, honey. You might not be great yet, but you will be great.” Canada geese flew high overhead across the lake out past the trees. She soon flew away into the night as well. 

The birds and bugs of America have both compelled and challenged me this week. I hope to embody the free-spirit attitude of the Canada goose and be as self-reflective as the great blue heron. Having beaten the cricket, he isn’t able to teach me anything, although I do respect his tenacity. The centipede needs to know his place. May this fall season treat all of them well. 

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