Along the Lakeshore: Yacking geese; high power bill

The pond in front of the house is now about three football fields long and half a football field wide. This is a rather big puddle and we’ve had lots of visitors. At times they almost fill it up.

The Canada geese are regular visitors. Most spend the night in the water and some stay on the ice. I’d guess that the population swells to about 1,500 critters by midnight. They’re very social and they talk about their ventures all evening long.

Last Saturday evening, March 22, the first of the snow geese showed up and settled in on the southeast end of the pool to spend the night on the ice. Sunday morning they were all sacked out, mostly in the water. Sunday night, the rest of the invasion of the snows was on the ice at the south end. I guess there were about 1,500 and they also yacked a lot. By Monday morning they were mostly all yacked out with heads tucked under. As the sun heated up, they started to move around and finally by noon they had all gone to the fields to find a bite for lunch.

The duck population remains about 50 to 60, made up mostly of redheads, mallards and small numbers of canvasbacks, scaup, goldeneyes, ringnecks and buffleheads.

The great numbers of waterfowl have kept the pond agitated and warmed so there has been no skim ice formed during the cold nights that reached close to 10 degrees. I turned the agitator off on Sunday and, as long as the temperature holds and we are the only spot where these waterfowl can overnight with open water and no current, we will remain popular.

I have run the agitator for about 2,000 hours with a three-quarter horsepower motor. I have also run my four-heat track pads, which keep the walk to the garage clear and dry. This has enabled Susan and her walker to get in and out of the house, following her knee replacement.

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