Summer on Buffalo Lake is progressing as both plants and animals are maturing…. which include my daughters and grandchildren. A gaggle of geese quietly gleaned around the tent they pitched along the shoreline adjacent to the cabin. Their solemn and peaceful sleep kept them from even being aware of what was happening all around them. The rhythm of life beats night and day without notice unless we are awake to see and understand.
I have been told that Buffalo Lake Reservoir has the reputation as the “Weediest Lake in Wisconsin”. The reservoir’s early submergent plants now have been joined by floating masses of lily pads; while their own floating fruiting seeds soon will unite in providing a ripe food base for all the waterfowl of this ecosystem and those that migrate through this fall. Just as whitetail deer instincts tell them when to forage for certain plants for their maximum protein, I believe this is a common thread for most animals. The web of life also has a rhythm we must understand.
Adult geese and their many goslings of Buffalo Lake came ashore earlier this summer and gleaned the just ripening seeds of the June grass while also feeding on the early insects of this wet year. They have continued to glean the shoreline for insects as the young gosling have emerged to resemble their parents. I suspect the near shore duckweed bloom of two weeks ago was a feast for all. Duckweed, with its ability to duplicate itself daily, must be a staple in the diet of fast-growing goslings. A parade of 52 geese just waddled past the cabin through the short grass of the campground single file, entering the water at the end of a string of piers. How soon will their flight feathers develop? How long will these four families hold the bonds of birth and enjoy the protection of the flock?
The human bond of families has similarities to wild creatures, but as time passes our natural instincts are fading as human cultures become more removed from the land. Family boundaries are now broken with disconnections of divorce, separation, and gender relationships. The connection of the simple foods of our ancestors that came from the bounty and ripeness of the land, which kept them healthy and growing, is disappearing. Like the wild creatures that face disruptions in their world from too much of mankind’s influence which cause endangerment and extinction, our time too will come when we will face the same fate.
Clyde Ferndock July 8 & 9, 2019