Goosey Gander – Yorkshire style.

I love living in Yorkshire. Ask any Yorkshireman, or woman for that matter, and they will tell you that it is indeed ‘God’s Own Country’. That quiet pride is absolute – you would never convince them otherwise, regardless of any evidence to the contrary – and is actually remarkably inspiring.

I have a hundred and one, nay, a thousand and one examples of why this belief is held.

I could show you pictures of the bucolic countryside. I’ve done that many times before – just scroll through my archives and you’ll see what I mean.

I have some more fabulous pictures of the exquisite Castle Howard, set among acres of rolling Howardian Hills, a certifiable place of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the road signs say so, it must be true!), which I’ll get round to posting about in the near future. It is a gorgeous place indeed.

I’m on the lookout for pictures of Yorkshire faces, young and old – but that’s a project for the future.

A Yorkshire gaggle of geese...
A Yorkshire gaggle of geese…

Today, I thought I’d treat you to some of t’local wildfowl, who are clearly from Yorkshire as they have that streak  of stubbornness that is de rigeur for any living thing around here. Last week we drove over to Hornsea, to visit Dad for a short while. The journey time is shorter if we snake through the tiny back-roads, up and down the Wolds. Passing through several small villages, the route is always delightful. Chocolate-box village ponds are frequently populated with wildfowl, happily swimming around or nesting on tiny islands tucked away in the middle of the waters.

Sometimes though, they like to spread out a bit.

The Neanderthol was driving last week and had his first experience of having to yield to nature. There’s a tricky right turn at Burton Agnes, with significant volumes of oncoming traffic exiting Bridlington pretty much all day long. Toby was concentrating. I could tell he was because his mouth had stopped moving – he’d been chatting nonchalantly for most of the way up to this point and when he wasn’t chattering, he was singing. So, this deafening silence was a true indication of his heightened concentration level.

The indicator light was ticking away. Click. Click. Click.

Four cars, a bus and a motorbike passed. Click. Click. Click.

A white van was definitely speeding round the corner – sensibly, Toby waited.

A tractor appeared at the corner providing a gap in the traffic flow long enough to ensure he could manoeuver safely out of the junction, which he did, with a heavy sigh of relief. And then, with admirable speed and just a hint of compunction he slammed on the brakes; it seems he’s been well taught when it comes to emergency stops. Thankfully.

The reason for his sudden adjournment of our journey was immediately apparent… a flock of geese had settled themselves across the larger portion of the road, making thoroughfare tricky, if not actually impossible without considerable commotion and probably a flurry of feathers to boot.Geese congress

The pond at the side of the road has a low stone barrier which serves (mostly) to prevent vehicles from accidentally careening into the water; today there were at least two dozen geese and a few ducks draped elegantly over the obstacle, stretching out across the roadway, for all the world attending to important business, in congress about the current warm-weather contingency plans or some other vitally significant topic.

I grabbed my camera and leapt from the car to capture a few portraits.

What do you think Mabel? Shall we let her through?
What do you think Mabel? Shall we let her through?

A couple of geese came to greet me, to investigate my credentials and give me leave to continue with my soul-snapping project.

Hmm... she looks pretty innocuous wouldn't you say, Sally?
Hmm… she looks pretty innocuous wouldn’t you say, Sally?

One or two looked at me rather shiftily. I shrugged off a feeling of disquiet and snapped away, smiling benignly at these creatures.

Eey up lad! Watch where you're puttin' that lens!
Eey up lad! Watch where you’re puttin’ that lens!
Can I help you?
Can I help you?

One inquisitive bird was despatched to check out the vehicle.

She waddled off towards the car placidly, head slightly to one side. She traversed the entire length of the car, taking in every detail as her gaze moved up and down continuously. Once at the back of the car, she hopped down from the curb, investigated the rear intently and then moved to the off-side, again checking all the details as she went.

You are cleared for entry - but be careful!
You are cleared for entry – but be careful!

She finally nodded once, presumably to confirm that she had found no WMD’s on our vehicle and we were finally given leave to pass through the checkpoint, unimpeded.

Just don't go ruffling my feathers, you hear?
Just don’t go ruffling my feathers, you hear?

We heaved a sigh of relief simultaneously and left them to their committee meeting, smiling broadly as we waved goodbye.

Or is that a Parliament of geese (surely, that's 'owls'?)
Or is that a Parliament of geese (surely, that’s ‘owls’?)


Thanks for reading – please stop by again, for more stories about life on t’Grange! 🙂


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