By Ken Stern 

Musings – on the editor's mind


August 30, 2023

Some of us are quicker than others, have our priorities in better order, are more in tune with the rhythms of the season. Partly, too, it is a matter of location and timing. For me, confined to a narrow course of home and office, it has only been since last week, Monday, Aug. 21 that I have heard and seen Canada geese returning to the Skagit. That first evening the sound of their honking followed me home. I did not see in the evening haze and smoke but heard the telltale sound somewhere over Hedlin farm fields.

Honking brought me out of my office the next morning to find a line of dark birds heading south, seemingly following the eastern border of La Conner. Since then I have hopefully seen and heard daily, now at various times, Canada geese. Twice, in the evening, small flocks were headed north, my guess to field where dinner lay.

At first I wondered if their arrival was early and if I was quick to notice. But no. Again, I am the last to know. I asked my barber, Tony, Saturday. He is more attentive and has many sources for gathering information. “A couple of weeks they have been coming in “ he said.

Then I asked Nancy Crowell, a professional nature photographer and first class observer of birds. “Three weeks,” she told me. They started arriving early in the month. Snow geese will fly in in October. Oct. 3 is the earliest she has seen them. What the Valley is famous for.

Timing and location are critical. So is intention. To catch a falling star position yourself under it to make your success more likely. Nature extends that invitation every minute. Nancy and Tony know that.


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