Last evening was a perfect time to sit at a table overlooking Goose Lake. The water was calm. The wind chime was silent for a change. And residents of the lake put on quite a show.
For two nights now a Canadian Goose has been vocalizing constantly — a single note over and over, with just about each breath. Maybe something is wrong. She started up again last night as she and her mate sailed the length of the lake and back. Ten other geese rested between flights at the north end on Connie Gourley’s large, sloping lot. Across from us on the east side of the water two parents and their four half grown goslings nibbled grass and made their way casually across the Moseleys’ yard.
Fireflies began coming out of the grass at 8:00 like a small meteorite show as bullfrogs tuned up around the banks. Just at dusk a blue heron flew toward us from across the lake, landed, changed its mind, and flew back. A neighborhood cat came wandering by, walking along our top retaining wall until it hopped down to the terrace below and melted into the shadows.
An enormous snapping turtle surfaced, slowly, its head the size of my fist, and, just as slowly, sank from sight. A reminder of the sudden death that awaits the unlucky duckling or gosling. Minutes earlier a female duck swam over the spot escorting her six ducklings to show them the lake. Here and there an ocassional carp fin rolled at the surface although there were no jumpers during the time we watched.
A young blue jay hopped from limb to limb above us, no doubt observed by the cat, if it was still hunting nearby. Crows quit for the evening calling from across the water, and we quit too. Gathering our plates to go in, we agreed that although we had forgotten to rent a movie for the night, we were not disappointed with the show we’d just been lucky enough to watch.