This is the sort of thing we do on Thanksgiving, drive to a beautiful place and blow our minds. Yesterday we drove down to Pilar, less than twenty minutes away, just before the rain and sleet rolled in. I took this shot more or less in the middle of the place—not that you’d know, right—with a shower between us and the cliffs.
There were a number of Canada geese on the river, including the five above, which explains the odd business I experienced recently. Sometimes when I stay up late, I’ll hear or feel a thump outside that might be a car door slamming and get up to investigate. Decades of practice, chilluns. You can’t sneak up on a paranoid sonofabitch. At any rate, a couple of times over the last few nights, I’ve stuck my head outside into the cold damp air and thought I heard a goose. There were thousands of them back in Maryland, so I know whereof I speak. I’ve heard them here before, extremely seldom to be sure, presumably headed for a pit stop in the beaver dam marshes on the Rio Grande del Rancho that flows out the mountains a short way from here. These last two times were more mysterious. I might have heard one or I didn’t. It may have been the squeaking of a hinge. But now of course I’m sure I heard a wayward goose each time.
There’s something so plaintive in the honking of a solitary Canada goose at night. He must be looking for the others, I think. Any others. It’s always a “he” for me, too. Is that because the females have to be too smart to end up flying after dark? I have this movie in my head of him flying low along a marsh until he hears them calling back and forth the way they do, whereupon he lands beside the unfamiliar flock and falls asleep in the bosom of his species once again.