Monday, April 10, 2006

man vs. nature: easter edition

so, not sure if you have been to rockville lately, but there's these crazy canadian geese everywhere. living on top of buildings, in parking lots. they seem rather oblivious to the fact that their natural environment has been paved, developed, invaded. and they have this very "fuck you we were here first" mentality. but i wonder, do the instincts in their little pea sized brains tell them to set up shop on a rooftop or in an industrial planter, or is this them taking a stand in the war against humans?

today, someone i work with was attacked by one of these fuckers. a couple has taken residency at the office entrance. mom is sitting on 4 eggs while dad hisses, with his little vibrating pink tongue, at everyone who comes within a 15 foot radius, which is everyone who has to come into the building. and like me, they are all in awe of these guys, there's something about seeing a wild animal up close...

still, the relationship is not peaceful. today a woman dropped her newspaper and it was immediately hopped on by crazy dad. when a gentleman tried to get it back for her, the thing literally landed on his head and pecked at him and hovered in front of his face, flapping his wings and skwawking until he swatted it with his briefcase. can you imagine swatting a giant 10 pound flying bird? on your way to work? it's crazy. but he was walking around the office being all, dude, i fought off a giant goose this morning, and i won. i conquered nature. the security guard turned amateur ornithologist has been regaling us with fascinating details about the daily habits of this duo - crazy dad left her for two hours yesterday to go frolick with his girlfriend in the puddle across the street! and the story of how he scared away a sneaky fox who came for eggs late night. man, even in this sprawling suburbia, we aren't completely isolated from nature.

i once worked in the office with a window on the building next door. the rains would leave deep puddles which rarely dried up, and even froze to a perfect ice rink in winter. the geese found these puddles to be a little piece of paradise. about 3 or 4 times an hour i would hear the typety clicks of my office mate stall to silence, and i'd find him staring out the window at our neighbors, so much more fascinating than our processing tasks. hours would go by as we each narrated,

"ooh looks like plumpy is having a little tiff with skinny legs."
"check out baldy, he's standing on one leg"
"stubbs is licking fat neck's butt"

every day attracted more and more geese and then one spring day, the roof was covered with adorable baby goslings. we got very little work done in those weeks, watching the little yellow babies grow and waddle around, like litte baby toys.

and then came the crows.

the crows sat creepily, perched high in the neighboring trees cackawing crescendos while their little beady black eyes glowing with eager hungry excitement. my office mate and i banged against the windows screaming noooooooo! to warn our friends of the surprise attack...swooping in like precision military airplanes, striking and dive bombing and taking away the very tender center of our daily entertainment. the geese, seeing no where else to flee, pushed their little malleable babies off the roof: plop! plop! 2 stories down! plop! they landed in the bushes, some missed the soft grass and splattered onto a stoop, occupied by secret smokers only minutes before. plop!

i couldn't look anymore, i shut the blinds, and our office was dark and quiet. it was excruciatingly real nature at its most violent darwinist moment, a feeling that doesn't convey on the discovery channel.

so i can now really appreciate that fluffy and hissy have moved their nest closer to us, hissing at us daily, the humans who have covered their habitat in cement, cut up their homes into little city blocks and cook their brothers and sisters in woks...but why? further from their natural predators, but close to their unnatural enemies? is it not a better life in Canada?

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