Avian Traffic Jam


It’s 6:30 A.M. and a gang of Canada geese are blocking my access to the Campbell Creek bike path. Most are sleeping on the grass verge but two are firmly planted on the path itself. A clutch of downy goslings have formed a puppy pile under a nearby birch tree. Even when I slow walk the bike toward them, the two adults on the pavement refuse to budge but four or five of the large birds trot out to meet me. When I swing wide to avoid the two on the pavement, their apparent protectors move aside for me to pass.2

That was weird. After clearing the avian traffic jam, I peddle through goose scat and over the Tudor Road bridge. In five minutes I brake again, this time to read a muddy set of tracks the forms a brown diagonal line across the pavement. Very recently a single moose trotted through a bog hole and then over the path. But, I can’t see far enough into the trailside birch forest to see him. For a minute I wonder if the geese jam was designed to buy time for the moose to pass unmolested over the path. But, only for a minute.3

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