Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Finally some cold weather 'round these parts with more typical brutal cold on the way tomorrow. After some catching up on work, watching the a.m. snow fall, and downing a pot of joe I went out for an hour on the cross bike before returning to the basement for some more specific work on the trainer (If you're just tuning in, I'm one of those freaks who really doesn't mind the indoor trainer that much. In fact, I kind of like it. Let's me catch up on stupid movies and heavy metal tunes).

A couple of pics while out today:

About two miles from home out along Strong's Neck. All the big white dots are swans.

At the end of our road--some widgeons, geese, and more swans.

We have a little swan problem around here, in my humble opinion. Too damn many of them things. I recall when we first moved to the area over 10 years ago there was one nesting pair in the cove below our house, and they got all kinds of attention in the local press. Mate for life, how romantic, real-life Disney movie, all that shit. Now we're overrun. Last winter I counted 79 of them bobbing around our cove one day.

This brings to mind another, related (in my mind, anyway) issue around here these days: Duck hunting. Long Island has a long tradition of duck hunting in the protected harbors and estuaries that surround its shoreline. Of course--Long Island Duck, right?

Along about January our neighborhood comes alive with the cracks of shotgun blasts at dawn. Personally I'm comforted by the sound. Really, I am. My rational mind knows that the species blown from the sky are at stable populations, the fact that the hunters get up in the wee hours and brave the biting cold commands my respect, and the sound itself reminds me that there is a tradition and passion for an old sport still brewing among the population.

Most of my neighbors don't agree.

They are afraid for their children. They are afraid for their property. They cry for the little birds falling from the sky.

Pffffft, rubbish I say. For once, just once, these people should be forced to gather and eat something that doesn't come wrapped in plastic or a box. Thankfully the hunters won a nice little prize recently, as reported in our town paper:

A contentious, often loud meeting of the Brookhaven Town Board Tuesday night resulted in a victory for duck hunters — and for lame-duck Councilman Kevin McCarrick (R-Shoreham) — when the board voted 5-1, with one abstention, to amend Town Code to permit waterfowl hunters access across town parkland with their guns. The hunters in the audience, who appeared to outnumber the amendment's opponents at least two to one, cheered when the vote finally was cast well over two hours after the debate began.

I say let's expand this whole shooting thing to include those damn swans. Some rebels in London got it right.

(ps, we also have growing numbers of deer starting to creep into our neighborhood and, let me tell you, I do have a bow and a few arrows in my basement)


solobreak said...

I don't see any geese in there though. Swans don't like them, and do a pretty good job of running them off when they show up. Unless you're up to your bottom bracket in swan shit, I'd say you're better off with them than with thousands of Canadian shit machines coating your town.

Moveitfred said...

Seems the geese got cropped out of the closeup. Lots of them mixed in with the swans and other fowl in the bigger shot. Swans seem to be especially nasty in the spring and early summer when nesting and with youngins', but in winter they seem to congregate with all manner of others. And, yes, we got plenty of the Canada shitters too. There is no grass surface safe for sitting anymore.

solobreak said...

That sucks. Where I work we have four swans and a trained border collie just to chase the geese away. We don't have too many.

Over in Braintree at their golf course, they have an different solution - an annual goose hunt, no limit, which is pretty funny since they're used to people walking around...