What the geese know

15-What the geese know

I’d like to say I know there’s a storm coming because I’ve studied the lowering clouds, sensed the wind picking up, felt the change in temperature. But actually the geese gave it away. When I left the boat this morning to take Bica for her walk, the inner bay here at the marina was thick with Canada Geese. They only gather here in bad weather.

I have a feeling my afternoon exercise will take the form of shoveling snow off the dock, so I took Bica for an extra-long walk. Once I’d finished my commute, of course. Each morning Chris heads off to catch the 6:40 GO train into the city, his book and a thermos of coffee in his briefcase, and I take my thermos and book back to bed and read until it gets light enough to venture out. Twice when I’ve gone out before it’s fully light, Bica and I have encountered coyotes on our walk, urban coyotes who trot past you on the path without glancing sideways at you. Which should make them less scary, but doesn’t. They’re wild looking things. People say a dog Bica’s size is safe, but I don’t want to find out. I keep her on her leash. Well, most of the time, anyway.

This morning I took her to the playing fields behind the arena, a wide open space where I can see if there are any coyotes lurking around, and threw her ball for her for a while. A long while. I always tire of the game before she does. On the way back to the boat, we came across a fresh kill, a pigeon under the bridge that crosses the river. A coyote getting ready for the storm? I looked around nervously, but the coyote was long gone. All that was left was a pile of feathers. Some kind person puts cheerios on a ledge under the bridge for the birds, not realizing that they are actually luring them to their death.

By the time we got back to the boat, snow had started to fall and the wind was rising steadily. Fortunately, it’s from the northwest so it slices between the boat and the dock, pushing us off rather than slamming us against the fenders with every gust. I think Bica and I will weather the storm quite comfortably. At least as comfortably as that coyote curled up in its den with a full belly. And certainly more comfortably than those poor geese.

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