Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fair is fowl and fowl is fair

You know I generally prefer the nature through a window.

But on Sunday morning last weekend in New Jersey, I got up and went for a run. It really was spectacularly beautiful.

When I used to run a lot, I'd make running mixes and listen to the same ones over and over. The repetition was soothing, really, because when I run I'm usually so in my head processing things, that what I'm listening to is often secondary

But now I run very rarely and no longer walk to work, and as such, haven't made a playlist in years.

Instead, I go to the Bootie mashup blog and download the free monthly top ten albums.

The artwork does not resonate with me, but I love the mixes. Most of them are fast, combine old and new music, and are so fun. I just cannot pass up the combinations of  Carly Rae Jepson and Nine Inch Nails or Miley Cyrus and the Village People.

So there I was, running with Bootie in the early morning. The weather was perfect, slightly cool and misty. The leaves further north of here have turned so many brilliant colors. I passed charming old stone houses and red barns on stone foundations.

These were neighborhoods, some farms, and for the most part without sidewalks. Only a couple cars passed me, and gave me wide berth. But just in case, I ran just off the road, on the grass.

I pulled out my phone to take pictures. Look how charming!

And then I saw them. A gaggle of geese. Enough to take a grown man down.
I made a little "Aaaah!" sound. And then clapped my had over my mouth, because what if geese take that kind of noise as provocation?

Then I thought, "My goose is cooked!" And had myself a nervous little self-congratulatory giggle.
I tried to remember what you do in case of goose attack. Did I even know?

Stop, drop, and roll is for fire. With a bear, you bang pots and pans. With a rabid raccoon, you hope to hell you have a crowbar. And I know from all the recent shark attacks that you're supposed to punch it in the nose and go for its eyes.

But geese?

Play dead? Make your arms big and flap and roar? I've only read about swans. When they try to drown you, you beat them with your kayak paddle and try to get the fuck  away from them.

They'll probably still drown you, but you do your best.

And were these attack geese, guarding the farm? Or just stopping through on their way to South Beach for the winter? The latter of course seemed safer, unless they felt provoked.

They didn't look particularly interested. But to be safe, I crossed the road and slowed my pace, avoiding eye contact but still slyly observing them. I figured this would seem nonthreatening.

I kept going for about 10 feet and then chickened out. I turned back, found another road, and continued on.

I encountered no other wildlife.

And then today, out of the blue, my friend Coleen, with whom I have had serious discussions about swans, gave me this helpful survival poster.

So glad I didn't know this last week.
Also: I don't really understand the inclusion of cats. Either they are cat haters or they just couldn't think of another scary animal. Why not hippo, raccoon, or Cape Buffalo?


  1. I've had some success with making my arms big and wing-like, and hissing at them. Because that's what they do when they're trying to be menacing. And then sometimes I turn around and run in the other direction.

    1. I could see how menacing them back with their own behavior would be effective. But I think I would always run the other way.

  2. i don't like the chance of a second go at a shark. otherwise, very helpful chart. "sit wolf! sit!"

    1. Yah, the shark thing is super scary. I'm pretty sure the wolf one would work, though.


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