He Rules the Lake

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Double click for a larger version of the image…

Here in our RV park there are two lakes.  At various times of the year there are some number of Canadian geese moving through as they go back and forth from the north to the south.  When there is a large number of them they can make quite a ruckus – and there are devices around the edge of the lake that occasionally go “Boom!” in an effort to scare them away (not really sure why or who puts them there.)

Right now, there seems to be a family of geese that have, for the time being at least, taken up residence.  There is a mom and dad and one baby gosling.  Perhaps when it grows up they will all fly away together, but for now, they seem very content to stay and raise their young one right here across the road from us.

My wife, being an avid birder, was trying to get some pictures of them the other day, and then she asked me to try.  I never need much encouragement to shoot any photos, so a day or two later, I noticed that in the early morning when we were preparing to take the dog out for her morning walk, the geese were down by the edge of the lake closest to us.  We live on the north-eastern side of the lake and much of the lake was still held firmly by the morning shadows.  The opposite shore of the lake, however, was in the grip of the sunlight.  The morning was still and calm and the light from the reflections of the trees on the other side of the lake was strong even while the shaded side was very subdued.  It truly was the golden hour and made for golden reflections.  Some of the photos I got that morning made the surface of the lake seem like molten gold.

At one point, after I’d taken most of my photos of the geese, I turned and looked back at them one more time.  The gander was still standing in the shallow water along the edge with the mother and gosling were starting to swim away.  Just as I was about to take the photo, he rose up on his hind legs and spread his wings as if to say, “Stay away from my brood!”  It was perfect…and is the subject of today’s photo.  If you look along the left edge of the picture, you’ll see the mother, followed very closely by her gosling, heading away from me.

I guess the gander was just reminding me who was boss of the lake.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  On this day in 1942, Japanese soldiers occupied the American islands of Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, as the Axis power continues to expand its defensive perimeter.

Having been defeated at the battle of Midway—stopped by the United States from even landing on the Midway Islands—the Japanese nevertheless proved successful in their invasion of the Aleutians, which had been American territory since purchased from Russia in 1867. Killing 25 American troops upon landing in Attu, the Japanese proceeded to relocate and intern the inhabitants, as well as those at Kiska. America would finally invade and recapture the Aleutians one year later—killing most of the 2,300 Japanese troops defending it—in three weeks of fighting.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: At one time, family members of those who died working on the Great Wall of China would carry a coffin on top of which was a caged white rooster. The rooster’s crowing was supposed to keep the spirit of the dead person awake until they crossed the Wall; otherwise, the family feared the spirit would escape and wander forever along the Wall.

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