Of Geese and Men

A few weeks ago, as I was walking to work, I saw a family of geese--two adults and two tiny goslings--crossing the street in Newport. Unfortunately, this was the one day I didn't have my camera on me. If I hadn't been about 20 minutes from my apartment at the time, and if geese were able to heed the command, "Don't move for 40 minutes," I would have gladly called in to work just so I could get the picture. But I seemed to be the only working drone who felt this way, as everybody else just kept walking, barely even noting the scene placed before them on a clear Friday morning. Meanwhile, I stared and smiled for a little bit and then begrudgingly continued on my way.

Then, on my walk home, I saw the geese again, though not in such a photogenic manner, and decided there was no good reason not to wake up at 6:30 Saturday morning so I could stalk the geese with my camera before I got on the early-morning bus to Woodstock (via Kingston) for Levon Helm's Birthday Ramble. There was, of course, no guarantee they'd still be around, but I figured it was worth a shot.

As soon as I made my way into Prime Goose Territory, I looked to my right and saw what I assumed was the same family of four out for an early-morning stroll. The adults were walking outside of a fenced-in area, keeping an eye on the two babies walking on the other side of the fence. So I gave them some room, stood in the middle of the street, and began the photo shoot.

Satisfied that I had made up for the previous day, I set out for the Hoboken train station. Until I saw some more goslings, even tinier and cuter, and in a more goose-paparazzo-accessible area. Out came the camera again.

Best Saturday morning ever.

But, wait, look, there's another family behind that other fence. There's officially a goose population explosion in Newport.

By the time I was shooting the third family, I finally got one dude to stop and enjoy the moment for a few seconds. It felt like a victory.

Now, whenever I walk to and from work (and carefully wind my way around the many goose droppings), I look for the little tykes to see how they're doing. Some days I'll see one or two around, and other days, the bad ones, I don't see them anywhere. I admit--I get a little worried that they're OK. Granted, they will likely grow up one day to fly into a plane I'm on and send me to a watery grave, but, for now, I'm quite fond of them.

So, last Friday, when I cut through the Modell's parking lot, I could not have been happier to see this:

These are happy, exciting times in Jersey City. At least for me. And the geese seem pretty content. I suppose everybody else will follow along soon enough.

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