Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Sense of a Goose.


I had a very interesting walk last weekend with my son and daughter in law. As we walked she asked me, "What kind of bird is the?" Many other questions about what we were seeing as we walked came my way. It took me back to the days I walked with my father and continually asked him questions about nature. 

As we neared the end of the walk my daughter in law said, " I have learned more about nature today than I have in all my life." 

I have always had a love of nature and it still gives me a great deal of pleasure. 

At this time of year when I am out and about I see a large number of birds getting ready for the nesting season. The geese fly in their V formations overhead. I saw a buzzard taking a rest on a fence post. As I view all of this around me the miles go bye without me being aware and the beauty carries me along.

I am sure I am not alone in this love of nature around us. But let me share something about the wild goose as it flies to and from roost to feeding place.

The next time you see and hear the geese flying overhead in a "V" formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. 

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. 

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. 

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are heading the same way we are.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. 

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. 

What message do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally - and this is important - when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of the formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their own group. 

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

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