Tuesday, November 14, 2006

11-14-06 the wisdom of geese and bulldozers

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been meaning to write about our flock of allegedly ferocious guard geese.

I mean the geese that spent the summer up in the asparagus bed, guarding the asparagus from marauders all the while eating the weeds and only occasionally stepping on the asparagus plants and stomping them into the ground.

I was going to write about how they have now escaped, I took down part of their fence, and how they now roam the entire farm from sun up until sun set.

And then at night these ferocious geese waddle down to our house and stopping, right where our pair of Great Pyrenees working dogs spend the night, and that's where they spend the night.

With the dogs.

I've been trying to figure out the why's of this and what I've come up with the guess that the geese are afraid. Afraid that if they spent the night up by the forest something might jump out of the dark and grab one of their sisters, or brothers and haul her back into the forest to make a main course in a rather undercooked meal.

But down at the farmhouse, sleeping next to a pair of dogs who, as a breed, have been specially bred for hundreds of generations, to protect creatures such as they.

Anyway, instead of writing about the geese, when I drove back from the airport after visiting my daughters and grandsons down in Florida, I noticed that the recession in the local housing market has not been enough to stop whoever it is in charge from bulldozing down yet another forest.

This time the large wooded area near where US highway 29 intersects highway 15 no longer exists.

Instead, where there was a several hundred acre stand of 100 foot oaks surrounded by a tangle of briars and brambles there now looks to be the makings for yet another huge parking lot.

And the woods, that rather spooky, uninviting forest that grow along the several miles between that intersection and the town of Haymarket, where, several decades ago, the roadhouse and biker bar, Orindorff’s, used to sit...

Those woods, which were almost certainly (because it never looked like humans ever dared to enter that dark marsh, bog and tangle of impassible briars) habited by all sorts of animals right out of the forest of OZ, those woods are now in the early steps of being converted into a housing project.

Bulldozers have begun pushing down trees for neighborhood streets and the surveyors have been out, tying orange ribbons where, no doubt, cheap townhouses and apartments (cheap as far as construction materials, not cheap in price) will soon stand.

Here we have two farm events.

The former, making me smile, again, at being reminded that geese, and all the other critters out here, both wild and domesticated, are independent creatures, that they aren’t pets or little children, that they and can pretty much figure out how to exist if left well enough alone by humans.

The later, our, (human), ever increasing march at changing the world, destroying forest after forest after forest. And for what? Money? Wealthy? Progress? That one makes me want to cry. Actually I might have. Thinking that whoever is in charge of things, they just don’t get it. They have no idea of what’s really important and what’s not. That really, in a lot of ways, those geese seem to have a lot more sense than us humans.

Anyway, that’s enough of that for today. I’m just writing to tell you I'm back here on the farm.