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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Come to the Snow goose Festival in Delta this month.

Each year millions of Lessor Snow geese make the trip between Baja Mexico and the Arctic Circle twice. They gather in large flocks and travel the 6,000 mile distance once in the Spring to go the nesting grounds, above the Arctic Circle, and again in the Fall to spend the winter in Mexico.

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I remember a day over 20 years ago when I was standing in a snow storm in Delta, Utah on the shore of Gunnison Bend Reservoir photographing well over 20,000 snow geese flying over head. I still recall vividly the sight, the sound and the feeling as those beautiful white birds flew by and landed on the water before me. It is difficult to describe the spectacle as the sky is literally filled with honking, fluttering geese, all looking for a place to land on the water. I was awestruck by the teaming mass of life that was displayed so beautifully before me.

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I turned to see if there was anyone else there. Almost unbelievably, There was not another human in site. I could hardly believe that something so incredible could happen with out anyone else to see it. No other witness to one of the most spectacular sights that I had ever seen. I was the only person to experience one of natures most magnificent displays.

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My excitement was great but somewhat dampened because I had only photographs with which to share what I had experienced. The event was so much more than just visual. This was a case where you truly had to be there in order to understand the magnitude of what was happening. You also needed to have some knowledge of where these geese had been and what they had been through before they got hear to really appreciate the spectacle before you. I was determined to somehow share the experience with others, many others.

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The annual migration of Lessor Snow geese, and their gathering at Gunnison Bend reservoir, is an event that happens every year and is as predictable as anything that involves wildlife. Each February, the city of Delta hosts the annual Snow goose Festival and now draws thousands of people to see the geese.

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This years festival will be held on the 24th and 25th of February. I am always there and it still raises my heart rate to watch the geese fly in. It further enhances my experience to watch others find that same wonder and amazement that I felt on that snowy morning so many years ago.

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