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Canada Geese Monday December 17, 2012

Canada Geese

I am not a tree hugging environmentalist, but I do appreciate nature. I talk to my plants; I love the cardinal that sings outside my window; and I don't believe in killing animals so that you can hang their head on your wall or take a picture standing over the carcass.

I am not pleased when we humans encroach on nature and I am not happy when nature encroaches into my habitat. I believe there is no room for raccoons in my neighborhood, squirrels chewing their way through my shingles and inhabiting my attic, and Canada Geese messing up my front lawn, my cottage beachfront, and my golf course.

I thought raccoons were supposed to be nocturnal. But I see them in broad daylight, attacking my garbage cans and I am not permitted to do anything to them.

The Canada Goose is majestic in appearance and beautiful in flight but they are taking over everywhere there is grass or water. We all recognize Canada Geese flying South in formation as a sign of winter approaching. It is a beautiful sight. But because of our warmer winters, many of them no longer go south. They stay with us all year round.

Almost a century ago the Canada Goose came close to extinction and so we stopped hunting them and they multiplied, and they multiplied and they ... you get the idea. But the Canada Goose is not only prolific at producing offspring, it is even more prolific at producing droppings. Trying to avoid their droppings is like running an obstacle course.

So something should be done. Like all herds that over-multiply, Canada Geese should be culled to reduce their population. Go fly away big bird or I will let some of rifle-toting duck-hunting neighbors take a crack at you as well.

When I was in Paris in the fall one year, I noticed that all the chestnuts were on the ground. There were no squirrels around gathering them up for their winter sleep. Somehow Parisians have solved the problems of squirrels inhabiting their city. We catch, and sometimes euthanize stray dogs and cats, but squirrels, raccoons and Canada Geese that are real pests - are protected. Why is that?

I can't keep a cow or chickens in my yard in the city, but I must let a dozen Canada Geese inhabit it with relative impunity. I don't think that is right. If they want to live in a tree, fine. If they want to live in my attic, I want the right to forcibly evict them and make sure they don't come back and raise their family in my attic.