by Docent Bob Hartmann

Cool, clear, almost cloudless skies are a delightful feature of fall weather fronts, particularly when you STOP, LISTEN and LOOK UP. With these fronts comes migratory waterfowl traveling the winds of opportunity to get an almost free ride SOUTH. So if you are out in the morning or through the afternoon LOOK UP and LISTEN to the silence in a place away from traffic, lawnmowers, boat motors, chainsaws, cows or maybe crows, whether it be on South Fork Nature Center trails, in your back yard or in the ‘deer woods’.

Bob Hartmann in the woods

Cup your hands behind each ear and swing your head in a slow arc north to south. At first you may think their voices are your imagination, then you know it’s the ‘cacklers’, White-fronted Geese (aka Speckle Bellies) constantly talking to one another as they cruise the heights in their broad
V-shaped skeins. Look hard and thoroughly; in a bright blue sky they are almost invisible at their altitude! Their next stop may be a harvested grain field, a playa or a shallow slough to refuel for another leg of their journey.