Many people have a different idea of the Canadian goose than I do. For some, seeing a flock flying high overhead in the familiar V pattern is beautiful and majestic as they squawk and soar high above. In fact this may be a rare occurrence, perhaps seen only a time or two a year.
It’s different here. Geese are a part of every day life. They are everywhere. That in itself is not a bad thing. But if you take several hundreds, if not thousands of geese and multiply them by the 2 pounds of poop they average per day, you may start to get a picture of a not so pleasant scene.
Yes, everyone is pro goose around here, but the general consensus is ‘not in my back yard’. Dad’s days of playing in a softball league are well behind him. He’s probably happy about that because the poor folks who play at the parks we frequent get to deal with fresh goose pâté de foie gras while they’re out trying to field grounders. Yuck. And believe me when I say it’s fresh, s’il vous plaît.
Dad and I made an enemy about a year or so ago when we went out for a bike ride on a pretty lousy day. It was chilly and rainy and hardly anyone else was outside. There were tons of geese in the ball fields we were going past, so we decided to have a little fun. Dad rode his bike out in the outfield where dozens of geese were grazing (and pooping no doubt!)
It was great fun to see the geese take off and scatter while squawking and grumbling about us making them fly away. I was so excited to join the chase that Dad didn’t have to pedal through the grass, I was pulling so hard! We cleared out three or four fields, laughing and enjoying ourselves. Then we left and didn’t think much of it.
We were riding down the greenbelt when a grumpy old man on a bike, obviously working hard to catch up to us, called out. He asked if we were the ones on the bike chasing geese in the ball fields. Duh! There was nobody else around for miles! We ignored him at first but he was persistent so Dad slowed down and simply said yes it was us.
The curmudgeon then explained that what we had done was disturbing wildlife and it was against the law. He said he wouldn’t call the police this time but we better not do it again. We kind of gave him a ‘yeah, whatever’ response and went on our way. We didn’t mention how we were doing the Boise Parks and Rec department a favor by helping to keep their field clean.
Just this last winter, the city declared Ann Morrison Park, the biggest park in the city, an off leash area for dogs. Why? Because dogs chase geese and keep them from crapping on the grass! We took full advantage of this rule and I had a wonderful time chasing geese, although they got so that they knew not to come around. The bottom line is that the park is poop free and clean.
Like I said, we love our geese. The problem is, there are too many of them. The person who figures out a use for tons of goose poop will become a gazillionaire for sure!