Our South Jersey Camera Club field trip energizer bunny, Pat W., had scheduled a sunrise shoot at the Forsythe Wildiife Refuge at Oceanville, NJ.  Turned out that there were four of us crazy enough to emerge from warm beds and drive fifty miles or so to enjoy a 19° F. and windchilled  dawn. 

Once we got out on the refuge road it wasn’t so bad (all photographers lie a little) and we persevered.  As the sun rose the light became warmer.  Not so the photographers.

We finally came across a gaggle of snow geese which had been a primary reason for the trip.

We waited patiently for them to decide about us.  Finally they’d had enough of our company and, breaking into flight, became  (et voila) a skein of geese.

One thinks of the refuge as being a bird sanctuary, particularly out on the meadows.  This one and a companion, however, were also enjoying the meadows and they provided comic relief as they bounded from sedge clump to sedge clump, frequently sinking into the muck in between.

There are always the Canada Geese  Their multitude, testiness and droppings are unpleasant but when they break into flight it’s wonderful; their plaintive honking, calling to each other, so moving on a moonlit fall or winter night.  I remember a childhood writing that Sigrid had from somewhere.  It had to do with the geese flying away far overhead, and it ended with the child’s cry: Be Careful!   Years ago I gave Marty Lou a gold pin of a pair of them in flight.  In part it was a rememberance of our years on Chesapeake Bay; in part because geese mate forever.

Don't miss that left turn ahead.