Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
I like to tell people that modern-day snow geese are the smartest birds in the sky. When under the direct supervision of experienced adults, even first year geese can be almost impossible to dupe; and bagging one can present hunters with an extreme challenge. There are still some occasional exceptions, however. One such episode occurred to me yesterday. A brisk wind was whipping up and the sun was peaking in and out of the clouds. Clear Lake has a couple of rapidly growing open spots, and I decided to go down to the shoreline and try “shooting some divers” with the camera. The birds were flying like crazy and I quickly became engrossed in my work. All of a sudden, I noticed ‘something different’ out of the corner of my eye. It was a juvenile snow goose, all alone and looking for company — any company. The goose abruptly plopped into the water and began paddling. I was hunkered down against the broken shoreline and the goose came to within ten paces before finally deciding that I wasn’t safe. Since a close up encounter with a dumber than a box of rocks snow goose was the very last thing I expected, I had left the shotgun at home. Too bad, this was undoubtedly the ‘dumbest’ snow goose I’ve seen so far this spring.