My favorite time of the day is sunrise and dawn.  The earth slowly turns out of the darkness of night and gradually there is light.  At first it’s barely perceptible but gingerly the black turns to shadow.  The sun nears the horizon and it’s light gets scattered above, bouncing off any clouds that are near giving them their own colors and hues.  Generally, not always, the daytime winds have subsided during the night and the air is calm – as if in anticipation of the dawn.  All the colors of the sunrise are reflected in the smoothness of the still lake.  The loons are long gone but as the light gets brighter I can hear the ducks and geese that have not yet headed south for winter.  They are gathering in larger flocks before they depart.  At this point everything pauses for a suspended moment.

And then the sun rises higher in the sky throwing it’s brightness all around, the wind picks up and riffles across the lake surface, the geese and ducks take flight, the squirrels start to scurry, and our human noise of activity echos throughout the area greeting another day.

The days are shorter.  The nights are colder.  The first snow of the season has fallen.  And our lakes are starting to ice over as we begin to slide into winter.  Along with all these changes there is an increase in the activity of the ducks and geese.  One of my favorites sights and sounds is a flock of Canada geese flying overhead — the beat of their wings and their honking is music to my ears.  Since I live between Lake Como and the agricultural fields of the University of Minnesota I am on the path of the geese flying from the water at the lake to the food at the agricultural crops at the U.  So many times I am stopped in my tracks to look up and appreciate their flight overhead.  I know that soon enough the majority of geese and ducks will have migrated south to warmer climes and we will return to the hush and quiet of the snow and the cold of winter.  In this week of Thanksgiving, the geese and their winged flight are one of the many things I appreciate and am thankful for.