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March, 2000

Valerie and her mother, Evelyn, autumn, 1959, Illinois.


Originally from Moments by Valerie, a collection of memories (1961-1983), written in 1986 and presented to Larry on their first anniversary.

Canada geese migrate through Illinois in both the fall and spring. They can be seen flying in large flocks or resting on the rivers and lakes, and some even winter in the area if they are assured a food supply. The geese are large and impressive. When canoeists meet a few dozen of them on a river, it's not the birds who move out of the way. They are capable of attacking with hard beaks and strong wings. In migration they fly in loose V-formations. I was once startled by a low-flying flock as I walked between two houses. They appeared so suddenly and their wing noise was so loud it sounded like a jet. They were so close they seemed to barely clear the roofs and, for a split second, I was treated to a wonderful close-up view.