Thursday, March 27, 2008

Geese and gaggle

These two were part of a gaggle of geese sunning themselves in a local park. They fly in by the river; some have learned to beg for treats from passers-by. Though some people complain about goose poop, it’s good the geese have made their place here. I love watching the goslings at the Nature Center in spring and hearing their poignant calls as they fly overhead in the fall.

"Gaggle" is an interesting-sounding word. It refers to a group of geese on the ground. A "skein" of geese refers to those in flight. Skein reminds me of yarn, as if they are connected by strands of colorful yarn "knitting" their V in the sky. I wonder why they aren’t called a "Vee" of geese when in flight?

I think gaggle would be an excellent word to describe a group of legislators arguing. Perhaps it could be expanded to include lobbyists, too. Maybe we should introduce a bill to expand the definition of gaggle. But then perhaps it would just be another wild goose chase…

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If you feel the urge, don't be afraid to go on a wild goose chase. What do you think wild geese are for anyway?
-Will Rogers

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.
-Lao Tzu

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