Laura Lavelle: Geese taking over Lake of the Pines
As the debate over border protection rages in Congress, Lake of the Pines is wrestling with its own microcosmic version of the ongoing conundrum.
And because LOP’s controversial immigrants are free to cross both the Mexican and Canadian-American borders without control, this population is increasing at an alarming rate.
Before your feathers become too ruffled, please realize this discussion is regarding Canada geese, those magnificent creatures whose adorable goslings hold automobiles captive as they traverse LOP roadways. Residents have been watching them patiently while they cross, then travel through a sea of feathers that is now the entrance to the lake.
These birds are beautiful and, admittedly, after hearing about the much-publicized Goose Reduction Project where the LOP administrators were planning to kill birds in their nests in a macabre springtime ritual, I had to cringe.
Then, when scores of downy goslings joined their parents a few weeks ago, I was thrilled that the egg-oiling scheme had been thwarted, apparently by a realization that the 1918 Migratory Bird Protection Act preventing harm to Canada geese also included eggs.
Cuteness aside, the geese do present a real problem for LOP. Most residents agree that, unless you are into really organic condiments, it is not a good idea to pick up a hot dog if it rolls off the grill at Hazel Park. Allegedly, a 10-pound goose can produce a 4-pound pile of you-know-what every day!
LOP golfers can validate that claim, especially when observing conditions around water hazards. Some fear that they soon will be trading in their golf cleats for galoshes, and have to keep a shovel in their golf bags for when they make a putt.
Wild birds are tested regularly by the Department of the Interior, and the avian flu virus has been found in wild geese – though it is much more likely to spread among domestic poultry. If the virus does reach this continent, resident geese could exacerbate the problem.
If possible, LOP could capture the birds and send them back to Canada. Fortunately, other realistic and humane options are available. As outlined by the LOP association, a Geese Peace program for population control is being considered. One element is to facilitate natural predators by providing tall grasses close to the ponds, thereby enabling them to hide and attack the geese.
According to the March issue of LOP News, resident goose populations can double every five years. With the human birth rate in LOP lagging sadly behind, our official language may soon be honk-honk. This is a complicated issue, and one which needs to be addressed by the soon-to-be-elected new board members.
An issue not under debate is the importance of donating blood. A Pinesmen Blood Drive is scheduled from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 10th. A drawing for two free dinners at the Clubhouse will be held for donors. Contact Larry Straight at 268-1406 or Larry Brown at 268-3990 for more information.
Laura Lavelle’s column is for Lake of the Pines area residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message with the Readership Editor at 477-4238.
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