Have you noticed that Canadian geese are everywhere? No? They are if you live in the Midwest. They are in our parks, our ponds, our golf courses, our lakes and rivers. Ten years ago Kansas City had Canadian geese flying overhead with the change of the seasons. Slowly we noticed that a few stayed through the winter. Now they raise their young within a few feet of city traffic. Their waste is on our streets, our sidewalks and in the grass. Plaza traffic literally comes to a halt whenever a mom and her babies cross the street.
With the number of geese so nearby, I thought it would be fun (and easy) to photograph them for the blog. I took photographs in Loose Park and near Kauffman Garden. Most of the shots were just boring. Then I found a beautiful spot on Brush Creek that catches the morning sun at a great angle. Having seen geese swimming in the area I decided to take my camera to get photographs of the geese just at the beginning of day.
It isn’t that easy. Five mornings I have made the trip, looking for birds that are in the water right at the right place and time to create opportunities to photograph them when the colors of the water are most vibrant.
The geese sleep on open land, maybe 20 or 30 feet from the water. Depending on factors known only to geese, they begin to move toward the creek between 8:15 and 9:00 a.m. Most move toward the water in groups, a few move individually.
After arriving at the water’s edge they begin to primp and preen. Finally, they enter the water, almost en mass, and only slowly spread out as they begin to swim upstream, downstream and under the bridge.
For a few wonderful moments the sun’s rays cause patterns of light to reflect back from the water, causing the beauty of the ducks to combine with the richness of the colors of sun, the rock and shade. When I am lucky I can find a goose in the water at the right time and place to catch them at their photographic best.
All too soon the suns rays are too strong to catch the colors, the ducks have moved too far on the water to easily shoot, and the water itself seems to turn a muddy green. It is time to leave the geese for another day.