Periodically, the geese fly out of their enclosure and have a jaunt through the pastures. The tracks in the snow tell a tale of the gaggle having a rather circuitous hike through snowy fields – and, thankfully, returning as though they’d never left at all.
Clipping their wings would keep the geese contained, but it would also prevent them from flying away from predators, so we’ve chosen to tolerate the wandering…primarily because they stay on our property. If the snow hadn’t recorded their trails, we’d have been none the wiser about where exactly they’d gone because when we spotted them on the “wrong” side of their fence, they were back near where they should have been.
As the tracks show, they really had quite an excursion: down hills and back up, around and around. Aimlessly? Perhaps, or maybe you have to have a goose’s perspective to understand their intent. In any case, I find myself quite vexed when they go rambling like this because the area is rife with hungry predators like stealthy foxes and coaxing the adventurers back into the enclosure can be…well, a pain. Literally. An uncooperative adult goose can slap the living daylights out of you with its wings, and it leaves bruises; a wise farmer leaves grabbing as a last resort. It really is perplexing how a goose can fly out, but often can’t seem to fly back in – the fence height being exactly the same. I’m left to wonder if the geese are perhaps more clever than we think. Or possibly less.
Bonus tracks: deer that, unseen, wandered all around the property.