Holidays and finals.
So many things are going on, but I HAD to get out of the house yesterday morning to take the dog for a run, and to just not be inside. I live in Schoharie, well really “East Cobleskill”, and I’m just down the road from the town water resevoir which has some nice mown trails and is open to the public for various uses.
My dog, by the way, is a 10 week old golden retriever named “Addie” (Adirondack). She’s a ball of energy and needs to be run everyday to burn some energy! I also was looking for a way to introduce my girl to the blogging community, and this was the perfect entry.
I was walking Addie on leash for a bit, then let her off to work on doing some “recalls” (Addie, come! Good girl!). She’s pretty good at keeping next to me, leash or not. So we’re walking around the edge of one of the retention ponds, and there’s a stand of common reed (even though THAT’S the common name, more people know it by it’s genus: Phragmites [Frag-mite-ees]). This is a horribly invasively plant that takes over wetlands, and creates a monoculture of plant life very quickly. Not good because not very many, if any, animals feed on it or use it as primary cover. Nonetheless, it’s there.
At first, I thought it was dead, because it didn’t move or make a sound as Addie was frantically trying to get to it. So, naturally I reached in and grabbed it, and pulled it out. I know, that sounds a little odd, but I’m into this kind of stuff! It didn’t LOOK gross, and there was no smell, and I wanted to look at it up close. And as I pulled it out, it began wheezing, and I noticed it was warm. It became obvious to me that this poor Goose was alive but not well, because a healthy wild animal should not let a human just pick it up without struggle.
I let Addie sniff it all over, but when it didn’t immediately engage her in a game of chase, she lost interest and wandered away to sample some leftover Goose poops. Whatever.
I looked the Goose over, looking for some kind of wound, and found, sadly, a small, perfectly round bullet hole right between the shoulder blades in it’s back. In the picture below, you can see the white ruffled feathers on it’s back- that’s where the hole is.
|Addie being a good biologist and pulling the invasive plants out|
So, I left it. I hoped that it would die sooner rather than later. And I took comfort in the fact that some hungry predator was going to have itself a nice fatty, protein-rich supper that night. I hope.
Please don’t give me flack about this…I couldn’t bear to finish it off (and detailed instructions were texted to me…). Selfish, I know.
What I’m confused about though, is that there is no hunting allowed on the resevoir. This is the town of Cobleskill’s drinking water source, so I’m sure the town doesn’t want lead birdshot landing in the ponds. Plus dead birds. This Goose could barely move. It was struggling to stand, and army crawl back into the weeds. So it couldn’t have flown from somewhere else and landed at the resevoir, in my opinion.