Monday, December 31, 2012

Oh! Oh! Aliens!

The world may not have ended on December 21st,
but weird things have been happening around my home this past week or so.
I looked out my window Thursday,
and there they were:
strange marks in the snow!

I looked out again on Friday,
and there were more!

I began to think of my favorite labradoodle,
Sophie Doodle,
who found some mysterious tracks recently.
I was beginning to get a little creeped out.

On Saturday:  MORE!
I had to go on walk 204 outside!
No way I was going by myself!
I made Terry go with me.
Seriously, have you ever seen anything like this?

I'm thinking ALIENS!  Just like Sophie, I'm outta here!

My husband, who would never think of aliens,
thinks I'm ridiculous on this cold Saturday morning
running around with my camera
snapping pictures of these weird marks in the snow.

Too late!
Suddenly a UFO swoops in for a landing!

Give me a break!
It's the d-a-r-n Canadians again!
Even more are coming in for a landing!

"Don't call them Canadian geese," said Terry.  "They are Canada geese."

"I'm a Canadian, and ..."

"You're American now," the Ever-Patient reminds me.

"When I lived up North among the Ojibawa, we called them Canadian geese!
They are Canadian geese!  Period!"

"Sorry, Honey, 
but the Canada goose was named for John Canada who first identified the bird.  
Remember when the librarian pointed that out to you."

"That's some urban legend. 
 They never did find any taxidermist or taxonomist named John Canada."

"Who's 'they?" said the E-P.


"You google it when we get home.  
I bet you've never googled it.  
You're just set in your Nanook of the North mentality.
You're such a Canuck!" 


Terry calls me "Nanook" or "Canuck."
He likes to push my buttons. 

My brother calls me "The Yank."
He likes to push my buttons.

I can't win!
That's why I have my own flag!

"Look at these damn birds!" said the E-P with rare exclamation marks.
"They're everywhere!"

"The Canadians are taking over!" I agree.

Strange marks explained!
Just a little piece of Canada outside my home! 

I googled on the sly when I got home. 

Carl Linnaeus was the first to use the term 'Canada Goose' in his Systema Naturae in 1772.
James Audubon followed suit in 1836.
The name Canada originated in the Iroquoian word kanata which meant "village" or "settlement."

The scientific name for the Canada Goose is Branta canadensis (meaning goose from Canada).
The Canada Goose is also known as the Canadian Goose or Canadian Geese (in large numbers).
I just call them "The Canadians."

There is some debate over whether or not the use of the name Canadian Goose should be discouraged.

But other sources accept it.

For me, they will always be Canadian Geese,
and one of the most indelible memories from my childhood is
watching in awe as great flocks of honking and cackling geese
migrated overhead in their sinuous V-shaped formations.

Canadian Geese V-Shaped Formation


  1. this post, especially the image of that American/Canadian flag! Coolest thing! As for the aliens, I call them Canadian Geese very often. I guess I'm quite the Canuck, too. The Canadians have definitely invaded your area. Are they there to stay for awhile, or are they just passing through?

    Have a happy new year!

    1. They are permanent residents. So many golf courses, parks, and reservoirs! Life is so good here in the Denver area, they aren't ever going to leave! Some groups of Canadian geese have lost their migrating instincts.

      Gigantic Vs of Canadian geese often fill the skies in the morning or the evening. At Sunrise (my old school) I used to see them flocking by the thousands, east in the early morning and west in the late afternoon. One thing I want to find out is where they are going. I plan to do another post or two on The Canadians in the future.

      I spotted the American/Canadian flag on a boat tied on in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, two or three summers ago. I've never seen that flag anywhere else. I'm going to have to google it, and see if I can find one for me.

      You have a happy new year, too! We are off to see an exhibit on Pompeii at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. One of my most favorite places on this Earth!

      Stay safe!

  2. Hi Louise! I find the Canada Geese to be very majestic! I know! If I had dozens of them in my yard would I feel the same?!! Probably not! But they are great to look at. Seasonally they land in the salt marsh behind our house at all times of day and night....honking their heads/necks off. I love to see them flying in V-formation as well....amazing when you think of it.
    Great photos Louise. You can call them what you wish.
    Happy New Year to you and Terry!

    1. I think they are majestic too. And I never get tired of seeing them. They can land in my yard anytime. My yard happens to be a golf course. Neither Terry or I play golf, but I love having lots of space around me; so when a chance came to buy a place overlooking a golf course where I have open space for 180 degrees from our deck, we leaped! But now Terry wants to move in the next two or three years. So who knows where we'll land - maybe even right here. Life is never boring.

      So Martha often calls them Canadian Geese, and you opt for Canada Geese. I'm going to continue to call them The Canadians!

      Right back at you: Have a happy New Year. Stay safe!

  3. I read Canada Geese and Canadian Geese so many times that I couldn't remember what I regularly call them....they are a magnificent bird...but a wee(?) bit dirty. When we lived in Vancouver(did I ever tell you how much I LOVE VANCOUVER) I will some time....anyway...the b'geesus geese were everywhere....Hey that would be a good name for them~~~B'Geesus Geese...Terry would like that!
    Sophie Doodle is so excited that you mentioned her 'sweetself' in your post today. Aliens can pop up anywhere, so you have to be on the look out, ever vigilant, sniffer cleaned out and ready for action...eeewwwh!!
    I love to watch the birds flying over head...we live on a salt marsh and in the late fall there are so many birds heading south...the sounds at dusk are incredible. Of course, there are hunters disturbing the serenity....I live in such a different world from them...thanks God!
    Listen my friend, have a great New Years with Terry and I look forward to more of your story.
    Regards Ron

  4. Your salt marsh sounds wonderful! I bet it attracts all kinds of wildlife.
    I don't get hunting myself, but I do know that hunters have done a lot to support wildlife and its habitat here in Colorado.
    I'm going to tell Terry the B'Geesus name. He will enjoy that!
    But I probably won't tell him how much you love Vancouver. He keeps talking about moving to that area.

    I'm glad that Sophie Doodle was okay with being mentioned. Her post about aliens was so cute, and she gave me the idea to have fun with the goose tracks in the snow.

    It's been a great New Years Eve so far. We went to an incredible exhibit on Pompeii at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science - one of the best exhibits I've seen. In a little bit we are going to go out for dinner and drinks at our favorite watering hole.

    You and Jim have a great NYE as well!

    Cheers! Louise

  5. Aliens were at my place too! But they weren't Canadian, and the imprint in the snow was a wee bit bigger, lol.

  6. Are you talking about that beautiful snow angel? That is a classic! Boomer's art made my day! :)

  7. HAHA, I guessed they were Canadian geese before I even saw them! They used to have a LOT of them at the Monastery. And I also call them Canadian geese, although, I really know they are supposed to be called CANADA geese. And you know this is YOUR blog, eh? :-) Call them what you like! xx
    Whatever you call them, you have a LOT of them!

  8. Happy New Year, Kay! I just counted down the new year with my family in Calgary (over the phone)! I hope this new year is a good one for you and your family! I'm just going to call the geese "The Canadians!" My ever-patient Terry is asleep, and I'm about to join him! All the best in 2013!

    1. I was just rereading the comments people have posted about this entry, and I suddenly saw "eh?" in yours. I missed it last night - probably because I was up way past my bedtime. That little Canadianism so cracked me up this morning! It was clever and funny on your part. Thank you for my first hearty laugh of 2013!

  9. Hahaha!
    What a post about your aliens and their name(s)!!
    Be reassured, in Europe too they are called Canadian goose: l'Oie du Canada!
    You are lucky to have them visit you on your door step!
    Well done, loved your humorous explanations!
    Happy New Year again, cheers Fundy!

  10. Thanks Noushka!
    I had a lot of fun writing the post, and it makes my day when someone enjoys it or learns from it!

    My husband has actually started reading my posts as opposed to just looking at the pictures since he discovered I sometimes write about him. He needn't worry though, because I would never treat him unkindly in a post. He is a total sweetheart!

    I'm so happy to hear that in France people call Canadian geese "l'Oie du Canada." You probably know far more about these magnificent birds than I do. Your knowledge and artistry shine through every post you publish.

    I hope you are enjoying a leisurely New Year's Day. All the best to you!

  11. Hello,
    I thought they were rabbit tracks from a distance(we have lots here!), but by picture three... no!!
    Wishing you both a very happy 2013!

  12. Hi Ivan,
    I hope you had a successful and happy dinner with your friends last night!
    Best 2013 wishes to you!

  13. There are now over 5 million geese in North America! They are delicious as well as beautiful. Thanks for kind comments on my blog and all best wishes for 2013. Mark

  14. Thank you for your kind comment, Mark!
    Five million is a lot of geese! And to think their population numbers were in serious decline a hundred years ago!
    I've only eaten one Canadian goose at Christmas up north a long time ago. We never had another, so maybe Mom didn't cook it right.
    Have a good one!


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