Our great Canada geese will soon be gone

My wife and I have always had a special fascination for the lifestyles of our Canadian geese, enjoying many quiet nature walks

My wife and I have always had a special fascination for the lifestyles of our Canadian geese, enjoying many quiet nature walks around the ponds, lakes and rivers where they hang out during their annual visit to Alberta from spring to the first hint of snow. It is always exciting to watch these noisy creatures nervously pacing and preparing for the arrival of their offspring, after which, with military-like precision, they will lead their fluffy family into a new world and around the water.

Then, throughout the hot summer there is that constant day-to-day noisy hustle and bustle in search of food, always strictly maintaining their territorial rights in an often grumpy mood of hissing and nipping. This proud new goose generation will grow quickly from not-so-cute fluff-balls to proud young strutting siblings, incessantly cackling but staying close to their parents.

At this time of the season they are now anxiously flocking together in preparation for their annual migratory flight to the south in search of hot sun and more food. There is nothing more majestic during the splendour of autumn than hearing the call of the call of the geese, then looking up into the sky and watching them perform their perfect V-line in preparation for that long and traditional journey. In looking up a few statistics on the migration of the Canada goose, I found some very interesting facts.

Geese mate for life, so they usually stay together for generations, mating during their hot winter getaway, then heading north in the spring and in most cases returning annually to the same area where they raised their family. These hardy birds have been known to fly over 1,000 kilometres a day during the migration process, travelling at an average speed of 100 km/h at a height of 2,500 metres, and usually on the same flight path they have followed for years. Perils on the long and gruelling excursion of the geese include storms, fatigue, the respect of the pecking order, and of course the wily hunter. That classic V-formation cuts down the wind-resistance on their long flight.

Experts claim this week will be the time to get our zoom lenses ready to snap a photo of their departure, and while we wish them a safe journey, we really hope that they will also take those pesky crows along with them.

Rotary to host fashion fling fall fundraiser

The Ponoka Rotary Club has been active since 2009 with a number of exciting projects that have supported and benefited the youth of our own community, as well vital causes throughout the world. Local projects have included lighting for the new skateboard park, assisting with the promotion of the annual Youth Triathlon and ongoing efforts to refurbish the Rotary Park in Riverside.

Our Rotary Club have also sent a student to their youth leadership camp each of the last two years, and members are working hard to organize a Youth Rotary Club, called Interact, at the Ponoka Composite High School. Future Rotary initiatives will be to provide scholarships to the youth of Ponoka and to help the town putting up outdoor gym equipment in locations of the community trail system. Their ongoing work with Rotary International has included donations for shelter boxes in Haiti, as well as supporting the Microcredit program for developing nations as well as to a foundation whose vital quest is to eradicate polio in the world.

To continue their aggressive support projects in our community, the Ponoka Rotary Club is preparing for their key fundraiser of the year, the third Rotary Fundraiser Dinner and Fashion Show on Oct. 27 at the Kinsmen Community Centre. The keen assistance of community individuals, businesses and organizations has and always will be most appreciated, and will be graciously recognized at the gala 2012 event. Tickets for this most enjoyable evening of fun are now available, while prize or cash donations for the silent auction and raffle are also being accepted, as well as volunteers to assist with the modelling and serving. Everyone is invited to join in on the celebration, with tickets and more information available at 403-783-5123.

I must apologize to my old air cadet buddy Ken Davies for putting the wrong names in the Ponoka Squadron #65 Remember When photo last week. Instead of Trevor and Terry Jenkins, those cadets were Trevor and Terry Davies.

In the meantime you can get some great exercise from raking leaves, and have a great week, all of you!