Friday, October 26, 2007

Not a Gaggle

Darkness comes early now, so by six o'clock last night it had set in, which is why it was plenty dark when we went walking about an hour later. And that's why we didn't see them much. But we heard them honking and squawking as wave after wave, or gaggle after gaggle, passed almost overhead but not quite near enough to see in the early darkness. Judging by the sound and fury, some of the gaggles were quite large. Others were small, but they all called incessantly to one another.

Perhaps most of the noise is to tell other gaggles, the stragglers as it were, in which direction to fly. Perhaps the stragglers squawk to say, "Hey, hold up, we're on our way."

This went on constantly for about ten minutes as gaggle after gaggle honked its way across the dark sky. Then, about fifteen minutes later a final and small gaggle flew by. Wherever they had been, they must have found some pretty fine pickings to make them so tardy.

Chalk one up for town life (see previous post). With gazillions of green acres all around, the geese have many places to fly to and from ... and to again. I wonder what causes them to relocate with such zeal from one field to another in the dark, though.

PS: Well, excuse me. At the conclusion of the above I decided to double-check "gaggle" with dictionary.com. Guess what. When geese are in flight they're not a gaggle but a skein. They're only a gaggle when on the ground. Who knew: aside from that renown college English teacher, KGMom?

8 comments:

Gina said...

What a beautiful name for them in the sky.

ChrisB said...

What a shame it was dark I bet that would have been quite spectacular to see.

Ginnie said...

They're all coming our way, AC. They really inundate this area and a lot of people think of them as pests... but I love to see and hear them. Thanks for the word lesson...I would have called it a gaggle too.

Kathy said...

aww i would love to hear those sounds around here. Some crows were cawing the other day on top of my house and in yard...their visits are not long and far in between. We lived in Grass Valley a short time up north and i loved the wild geese that would fly over...so cool!

Ruth said...

Our local geese don't migrate. But they fly around the city with a great deal of honking making u-turns back to the parks where they winter. I am becoming much less fond of them due to their numbers and messes. A skein...I have never heard that before. Good to learn something new.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Do you think that skein (and I thought that was an unwound ball of wool) were fleeing the snow that fell here last night.?

Cathy said...

Skein / Gaggle - Whatever. Like, you - we love to hear them coming over the house in the evening. I've got a speaker that brings them in loud and clear because it's chilly now. We two couch potatoes sit on the couch and nod and smile to one another as we finish our couch meals and watch Raymond reruns. See - you're not the only 'old fossil' ;0)

(That business about your new furnace spending the rest of its life in the basement - I never thought about it that way :0(

KGMom said...

English teaching finally weighing in--sorry for the delay. I've been grading papers!
Anyway, I didn't know about the skein/gaggle bifurcation.
I do know a group of larks are called an exaltation of larks (which is just wonderful, isn't it?).
I have fun making up some group names.
For example--
a clutch of proctologists
a graft of politicians
a deceit of attorneys
a doddering of seniors.
Sorry about this last on, AC.