We went kayaking today. The wind calmed down enough this morning to make such an endeavor feasible. Kayak Women even joined us on the water in her purple kayak. While we were preparing to launch, I noticed this flock* of goslings on down the beach. They don’t look mature enough to fly yet, so I guess that they must have swam into shore. They probably just swam around Cedar Point from Mosquito Bay, but they could very well have crossed the shipping channels and come across the border from Canada. I guess that would make them Canadian Canada geese. I took this picture of them from the kayak. As I glided ever closer, the goslings first bunched up as shown. Then unable to retreat onto the water, since the threat was on the water (me), they instead ran up the embankment into the tall grass. On the return run, they were back on the beach and were much more nonplussed about my approach than before. I guess that they had decided that I was mostly harmless.
Over the years, we’ve had human visitations from our friendly neighbor to the north, “Mom, Dad ran out of gas, again.” Last summer, a grandmother, with her two grandchildren drifted in to shore, when her water flea fouled off of Round Island after it had ingested some rocks. She had no problem with her grand-children stepping onto the beach, but she steadfastly stayed in the water, holding her craft. I guess that she was trying to make some legalese point. Her rescuing husband and son, eventually made it across from Canada, after once being turned back by the US border patrol.
9/11 changed things here at the border. It takes hours, where it use to only take minutes to cross the International Bridge. It still takes only minutes to cross into Canada. Immigration has a huge new building and the border patrol’s watercraft are souped-up to the max, think four 350 horsepower outboard motors, radar, FLIR and automatic weapons. This behavior has got to have a chilling effect on our relations with our friendly neighbor to the north.
I was at the gas pump yesterday. On the other side were a Canadian father and son. They seemed sullen and unfriendly. I wonder if they had just come across? The new immigration bill that is winding its way through Congress calls for beefed up border security. I can’t imagine what that will look like up here.
* A skein is the correct name for a group of flying geese, but since these are only goslings and not yet able to fly, I’ll stick with ‘flock’.