Along the Lakeshore: Thoughts about cars; geese on the lake

The water in front of our house is now open about 400 to 500 yards. The two agitated ponds linked up with a drainage puddle between my house and Bill Davis’. The warm weather last weekend enlarged them beyond their former boundaries.

Monday and Tuesday we received a migration of Canadian geese which numbered 500 plus. Such a noise. They must have watched Dave Eichorn’s weather report because they all headed out of town late Tuesday evening, leaving a good-sized group of redheads spread over the open water.

Tuesday morning at first light, there was a big group of Mallards on the pond. The males were posturing by flying at each other and throwing water over each other with their wings. The hens were at the other side of the pond choosing who they would cuddle up with. Having watched these vaudeville acts on the lake for a number of years, it seems that the slowest hen gets taken by the fastest male.

When the geese were here in good sunlight and at a good angle, I was able to watch a goose splashing water on himself and I could see with the binoculars that the water didn’t really wet the surface of his feathers. I don’t know how they accomplish this, but it must be common to all waterfowl. If they got more thoroughly wet when diving for food or swimming around in a storm like today or when the temperatures are negative 10 degrees, they could not survive. I don’t think it’s a matter of surface oils, as feathers never feel oily or sticky when you find them. I am sure some ornithologist has the real scoop on this and if I find out, I will post a report.

The weather is supposed to be back in the 40s after the storm and I don’t think I will have to spend much energy cleaning up the edges of the driveway. That is the good thing about snow in March and April. The solar power has been turned back on and the black stuff seems to just jump right through the snow.

Correction: The Press had no sooner hit the mailboxes than I received a call from a reader who grew up on the south side of Syracuse. The circus ground was on McCarthy’s Island, not Holland’s which is up close to Port Byron. I have known this for 80 percent of my years, but it seems I had a senior moment.

Joseph Spalding is a long-time Skaneateles resident who enjoys sharing his observations about the Skaneateles lakeshore and community. He can be reached at 685-6937.

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