Friday, June 4, 2010

sleeping dangerously

Where I live there is a creek running in the back and a lake across the road. So it is not unusual to see the odd duck or two (mallards) or several Canada Geese roaming around.

Meet Chris.

Chris has lived here for several years. I have no idea whether Chris is a male goose or a female goose - how does one tell? Canada Geese mate for life and there used to be two of them we would see often down by the creek. Then a few years ago, the other goose appeared to be limping badly. A few of us would keep our eye out for it and someone did call an animal rescue service, but eventually Chris's mate disappeared forever. But for at least 5 or 6 years Chris still comes round. All alone.

Oh, occasionally there is a squabble between three geese, but this is obviously Chris's turf and they are sent away whenever he is around.

Have you ever wondered where geese and ducks sleep?

Chris seems to prefer the pavement.
And once settled, he.will.not.move.
One day, I found him in my parking spot. Luckily, it was during the day and there were few other cars around so it wasn't too hard to get around him and back into my space.

Many's the night I have found him, sleeping in the middle of the road or at the end of a driveway. It's a bit nervewracking, worrying about running into him.

I've often wondered why he likes this dangerous corner.
Perhaps he remembers where he last saw his beloved.
Maybe he feels closer to her and has fond memories of their time, grazing and paddling the creek together.
After seeing him almost every night for most of the last month or so, I haven't seen him (or her?) for three nights.
I'm getting worried.


  1. Reminds me of an old hound dog I used to encounter on a back road, where he slept in the middle of the road. If you pulled right up to him and blew the horn, he would sit up, heave a big sigh, and move slowly just out of the way.

  2. How cool that you have a neighborhood goose that you named! (How did he/she get the name Chris?)

    I hope you spot him soon.


  3. Goodness, with such dangerous sleeping habits, he is taking chances. I hope he has either gone to Goose Heaven to meet his mate, or is safe and sound, elsewhere.

  4. Pining for his/her mate, I would think! Do hope he/she is OK - let us know!

    But very strange sleeping habits, and dangerous, too. Maybe the tarmac/pavement is warm to old bones?

  5. Well if Chris has met his or her demise, I'd like to think he or she is with his mate in Goose Heaven. Maybe the sleeping behavior was suicidal?

  6. SAW:some creatures do have an inflated sense of entitlement, don't they? there is a cat on my paper route who is the same way, which I find rather odd.

    Joanna: it was the most common androgynous name I could think of.

    Meggie: it isn't that uncommon for him to disappear for weeks at a time, but I miss him.

    Gilly: and the grass is quite wet with dew, so that can't be comfortable.

    Geewits: I just find it odd that that he is so out in the open and not tucked beside a building. I thought of that, but he has many chances to get himself killed - the road is a busy secondary highway. thank goodness for that white bit on his chin!

  7. He must be able to emit highly effect leave-me-alone vibes. It is most intriguing.

  8. Oh oh! I would be worried too! I hope he comes around soon?!
    It is so sad he lost his mate.

  9. Maybe this is goose suicide? I've heard that dogs do that -- sit in the middle of the road hoping, in some instinctual way to get hit by a car.

  10. That does seem like a odd place to sleep, but what do I know about geese? Maybe it's so comfy that every goose would sleep on pavement if they would just try it once.

    But I hope he/she comes back soon. Let us know!

  11. That's too sad. This needs a happy ending.

  12. Enjoyed reading this post and I wonder if Chris is OK. Very interesting habits for a goose....

  13. Super post! I do hope Chris is alive and well. Some Canada geese are dare devils and sit much closer to the traffic than I would - way more trusting of human drivers than I am. I've often seen Canada geese beside the road at the Holland Canal or Lake Simcoe.

    I'm wondering if someone on the sly feeds Chris bits of bread or other treats, making it the reason he/she likes this spot.

  14. Aw...... I wish he would move to a safer place or he might come to a sticky end. Not everyone is as careful as you. Poor thing losing his mate.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  15. Persiflage: he certainly has a certain confidence, doesn't he!

    SueAnn: I assume he has a few homes he makes the rounds to to. I'm sure one night I'll be surprised by his presence again.

    XUP: that would be too sad to think that animals might instinctively want to commit suicide.

    Pinklea: I have seen many ducks sitting on the road, but not on a regular basis, night after night.

  16. Nora: maybe he just needed some alone time and now he has gone back to find the crowd of geese in the park? maybe this was some sort of anniversary?

    Carol: thanks. who knows what goes on in that little head of theirs! I like to think he is fine and just came to visit.

    EGWow: maybe they know it is a federal offence to hit or maim a goose?

    Maggie: it really is an awkward corner of the road with as s-curve and many hidden driveways. still haven't seen him around.

  17. He probably likes the warmth of the pavement, but then again, maybe it is where his beloved met her end and he wanted to join her.

    Thank God you say Canada geese and not Canadian geese. It really grates on me when people make that mistake (of course you wouldn't!). Did I say I'm not very tolerant?

  18. Susan: not 'Canadian'. those messy creatures have no nationality.
    I saw a lone goose down by the waterfront yesterday, maybe it was Chris.


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