Yesterday morning, a flock of snow geese flew over our neighborhood, catching a southeast breeze in the cold, clear sky. Nearly invisible in the first glow of dawn, their distinctive calls belied their presence and gradually faded into the darkness as the flock moved on to the north.
Having spent the night on the Missouri River floodplain, these determined migrants will make several more stops in the Upper Midwest and Canada before arriving on their Arctic breeding grounds. Just three months ago, the snow geese crossed Missouri on their way to coastal marshlands of Louisiana and Texas, where they spent the depths of winter.
Watching them move southward in late November and early December, we were quick to envy their freedom, longing to follow them to the balmy coast. Now, as the early signs of spring spread across the Heartland, we are less inclined to be jealous, knowing that these hardy birds are flying toward the last stand of winter. Nevertheless, we admire their fortitude and wish them a safe journey to the land of the midnight sun.