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If you don’t like the word poop stop reading here.

A flock of Canada geese moved into our bay last week. My observations eventually told me that there were three broods with five young ones and two parents in each brood composing a flock of 21 geese. I don’t know if many geese have spent much time in your yard, but those who have had this experience will note that geese leave a mess.

For you city dwellers wondering what a goose, is suffice it to say they are one of the larger birds that inhabit our area and they are a noble looking animal with a certain grace about them as they graze their way up our hill.

This particular flock seems rather tame as our comings and goings doesn’t seem to disturb them much. When approached by a golf cart or four-wheeler they just move out of the way rather than panic and fly off. Last weekend we had our son’s dogs out here and much to my amazement, although they noticed the flock, they didn’t even try to chase the geese.

Watching them is interesting. The kids stay with their brood and the parents spend most of their time strategically placing themselves in positions that secure their group. They slowly graze their way from lawn to lawn, occasionally they dip into the bay and swim across or off into the lake.

But then comes the messy part — that infamous goose poop thing. I imagine that every living thing leaves some sort of mark behind. Geese leave one of the more memorable marks that I know of.

I recall my brother, who lives in Park Rapids, Minn., talking about feeding all the geese that showed up in his yard. He fed them until the goose poop caused him to slip off his dock. In our case, we discovered that if a goose left a footprint there seemed to be a pile of poop next to it.

The beach looks like it’s been bombarded with piles of poop, causing those who hang out there to tiptoe through it in hopes of finding a clean space to plant our butts in the sand and feet in the water.

Probably the most disturbing part is that most beach bums enjoy being barefooted while on the beach and as you might imagine this does not encourage us to share our bounty with the wildlife around here.

By the way, flip-flops have a tendency to attract this gooey material and eventually they gather enough goop to remove them from the wearer’s feet. This usually requires two things: one, a blue streak of profanity materializes out of nowhere, and two, a desire to be someplace else.

For those of us who just ignore all this and plow through the piles despite knowing the hazard three things usually happen. One, the poop sticks to your shoes and leaves poop tracks on your pontoon deck. Two, as you may or may not know, poop is rather slippery thus enhancing the probability of losing your balance. Three, you end up trying to decide whether you should try to clean your shoes or just junk them.

So that’s the latest poop on the poop around here. Here’s hoping that as a result of this lesson you can avoid another one of those hands-on learning experiences.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

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