(Photos: Geese at Harlem Meer between September and October, 2010. Today, there are no geese, either at the Meer or Central Park in general.)
"Bloomie, you're doing a heck of a job!" (Yesterday)
"Yesterday," as the Beatles sang.....
Since Central Park has recently become a downer due to the untimely and unnatural death of my favorite duck (Brad) and the absence of any geese, I have been brousing through old memory cards in recollection of "what used to be."
Two years ago at this time, there were gaggles of many geese at Harlem Meer in Central Park. The photos posted above were taken between September 11 and October 3 of 2010.
Exactly two years later, there are zero geese in the same location -- and indeed in all of Central Park.
This bizarre series of events reminds me of New Orleans post hurricane Katrina in 2007.
Then-President Bush traveled to the devastated area a couple of days later and praising the FEMA director for the "outstanding job" that was being done remarked, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!"
Of course the joke then was that FEMA was not doing a "heck of a job" at all, but in fact, failing to provide relief and proper shelter for the thousands of people left stranded and homeless in New Orleans in the wake of floods and destruction.
Well, I look around a goose-empty park right now and think to myself, "Bloomie, you're doing a heck of a job!"
And of course, USDA "Wildlife Services," The Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Environmental Conservation and less we forget, our "outstanding" New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand.
They have all done a "heck of a job" (without aid of a hurricane) of devastating the wildlife in our great city. -- So much so that some of us have to look back on old photos from "yesterday" to realize we once used to have safe haven for resident geese in New York City's premier park in the fall of the year.
If some of us believe the summer to be particularly brutal for Canada geese due to federal USDA goose roundups and slaughters, it is pale compared to the sheer carnage of autumn and its waves of bullets piercing blue skies and bringing down hundreds of thousands of geese and other birds.
Thumbing through goose-related articles and columns these days, virtually all of them extol the "joys" of blasting geese out of the skies.
Below are just two recent examples:
The first is an article from the Sacramento Bee which provides in some detail how we deliberately created an artificial population of Canada geese to shoot at.
The second is an "outdoors column" by a hunter which, in some places is almost poetic. But, then the last paragraph quite literally blows a hole through all the poetry and pretty images.
But, I don't post this link due to the actual column, but because of a reader comment to it.
Writes one hunter: "The great thing about killing geese is that they mate for life. If you kill the 'wife, ' the husband will land to see what is wrong and then you can blast him too."
Sometimes, one has to wonder what the world is really coming to?
"I Saw a Young Child Beside a Dead Pony" (Tomorrow)
There are some in religious circles who believe the world is coming to an end in December of this year.
I don't personally believe this. -- But, I am hoping for some kind of sweeping and all-encompassing change.
Something that would force us to look at the values we are using to shape the world around us and send it into precarious direction.
Those "values" and directions require serious change.
Nothing quite so compels one to this thought process than a recent article out of Great Britain:
Yes, we know about hunting and yes we know about goose "culling."
But, to carry out these massacres before the eyes of young and impressionable children in the light of day is something so sinister and monstrous as to shoot daggers through the heart of innocence itself.
It reminds one of a line from a song:
"I saw a young child beside a dead pony."
The line is from the Bob Dylan classic, "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall."
Perhaps I just believe some hard rains are going to have to fall -- hopefully ones that ultimately serve to cleanse the buildup of grime and cruelty and renew all that was once innocent, pure and "yesterday." -- PCA