A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

On a ride, when all you see is geese

Written December 26th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Canada geese were checking out this ditch in a field off Riverside Drive on the day after Christmas.

Most days, riding the bike around Albany, I see something at least mildly interesting or noteworthy along the way. On other days, not so much.

The day after Christmas was typical of December. Dark in mid-afternoon. A leaden sky overhead. Not raining exactly, but moisture in the air. Temperature just below 50 degrees.

Heading back to town on Riverside Drive, there was nothing much to see. Unless you like a gaggle of geese slowly making their way up one of those shallow ditches in a field south of the road.

Come to think of it, these ditches in mid-valley farm fields are kind of interesting. Some years ago, if memory serves, researchers from Oregon State checked out a bunch of these winter waterways and found them full of juvenile fish.

I looked it up online and found a reference to that research here.

Here’s one sentence from the summary I found: “The presence of recently hatched and juvenile fish shows intermittent watercourses offer conditions suitable for spawning and juvenile rearing.”

These ditches are more or less dry in the summer and fall, but evidently they serve as fish nurseries during the wet periods of the year.

And as occasional habitat for geese as well, as I think the photo shows. (hh)

One response to “On a ride, when all you see is geese”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Nice picture, Hasso.


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