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Step aside, national icons coming through!

May 9, 2016

Two Canada geese seen taxiing across West Broadway Avenue this morning.

On most weekday mornings at 7 a.m., traffic on West Broadway Avenue is quite sparse and this morning—Monday, May 9—was no exception.

There was no way that the small handful of cars, buses and trucks traveling east and west could, by themselves, explain the sudden flurry of honking coming from the 1200 block.

That was down to a matched pair of Canada geese, which were both the object as well as the source of a good bit of the honking.

The two geese landed on the south sidewalk, more-or less in the middle of the 1200 block, then—unruffled by the trickle of east-west traffic—proceeded to slowly jaywaddle across all six lanes of West Broadway Avenue.

Why did the geese cross the road? So they could turn around when they got to the other side, of course.

No sooner had they both stepped up over the curb and onto the north sidewalk than they turned around and hopped back down onto the roadway and slowly made their way back whence they came—toward the south side of West Broadway Avenue.

This time however, an oncoming truck in one of the westbound lanes failed to show the necessary deference to the lead Canada and amid back and forth honking, the big bird took fright and then flight, lifting nearly straight up on powerful strokes of its large, outstretched wings before it settled two storeys above the street on the roof of a retail building on the south side of the block.

The goose that had been left behind halted in its tracks and stopped traffic in two eastbound lanes while it honked/howled long and loud in the direction of its mate.

The goose on the roof naturally honked in rejoinder. Then one of the drivers leaned on their horn and joined the conversation, effectively pleading with the recalcitrant goose in the road to get a move on.

Whether the Canada goose caught the driver’s meaning or not, it did slowly waddle on and out of the way of oncoming traffic. As soon as I saw that it was safely on the north sidewalk, I decided that the show was over and rode on to breakfast.

Once again I was struck by the contrast between Canada geese in the air and on the ground—so powerful and capable up there and so lazy and awkward down here.

Then I was reminded of those other powerful flyers—the old supersonic Concordes.

Like Canada geese, I remember that they were amazing in the air but, now that I think about it, they never did look all that impressive taxiing around on the runways. Click the image to enlarge it.

  1. Margaret permalink

    This pair of Canada geese must have been transplants from Granville Island. They don’t move for anything, okay, maybe one did for the big truck, but otherwise it’s their land as much as it is our land 🙂


    • People tell me something that I honestly wasn’t aware of, that a number of Canada geese never leave Granville Island, confining their annual migration between the Public Market and, I dunno, that great French bakery that I remember is just a stone’s throw from the Market.


      • Margaret permalink

        Likely true! Let’s face it, other cities have their proliferating deer problem, and we have our Canada geese problem.


      • On the one hand, I like and admire Canada geese tremendously, on the other hand, they really do poop everywhere. But then, so do many people’s dogs. I think I lean toward the geese.


      • Margaret permalink

        Yup, all over the pathway by Granville Island. At least dogs have responsible owners picking up after them. For Canada geese, I suppose we all own them as Canadians 😛


      • It’s a fact that no one picks up after the geese whereas Most dog owners do pick up after their dogs. But enough don’t that anti-dog-pooping signs abound in yards all over Fairview. And, of the dog owners who do pick up after their pooches, a great number don’t seem to care where they throw their little bags of doggy-doo.

        All I know is, between the geese, the dogs and the drug addicts, it will never again be safe to walk barefoot in a park for fear of stepping on poop and needles.


      • Margaret permalink

        Some dog owners are unnecessarily filling up the city’s trash bins, and yes, sometimes the little bags are tossed on the ground!

        I have seen a couple people who are brave enough to be barefoot on the Stanley Park seawall. One person was holding a pair of FiveFinger shoes in his hands while opting for the truer version of being barefoot.


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