Monday, April 25, 2011

An Earth Day Rescue - A Lesson for Everyone

Tim and I had a magnificent Earth Day. Early in the day, we awoke to a misty, mucky morning. There was quite a bit of rain that moved through early, but it was hit and miss. We lucked out and got a couple of hours of just clouds in order to enjoy an early morning walk at Norris Dam State Park after we dropped Ashby off at school.

Last week, Norris Dam had opened the floodgates due to all the heavy rains the area has had recently. This is a rare spectacle and a treat indeed. Friday morning was a prime opportunity for photographs. The large crowd we'd seen Thursday night was nowhere to be found, and the overcast morning provided a perfect softness to the light.

Multiple shots later, Clover was bugging to go for a sniff. She loves the Songbird Trail, probably because there are so many other dogs and animals that frequent the area. It gives her nose a good workout. So we decided to start our walk by the small fishing pier.

Since we both had our cameras, we usually take turns holding Clover's leash. I had spotted a Goose Family (baby goslings in tote) floating down by the fishing pier, and began slowly approaching to get their photos. I noticed one cute little fluff-ball of a gosling standing on a rock away from the rest of the group. I began snapping away, taking the opportunity to grab some shots of the solo gosling.

It was then that I noticed, as he tried to join the group, that he just sort of toppled off the rock. I watched him get up, bounce back on the rock, stand there a moment, and then once again topple over as he tried to jump in the water. I knew something had to be wrong, so I slowly crept closer only to find that the poor thing was caught up in a tangle of monofilament line that someone had mindlessly and carelessly left lying on the ground. How sad!

Momma goose was not very happy about me approaching her baby, and began to honk, hiss, and lunge at me as I tried to get a handle on how tangled he really was. Tim brought Clover down, and she helped subdue Momma goose long enough for me to figure out the line was tied, multiple times, around the little gosling's leg.

With Clover's help to keep Momma Goose away, I was able to carefully grasp the baby in order to try to unwind the line. But it was no use.  It was just too tangled and knotted up. Thankfully, Tim had his pocket knife and was able to cut the line and free the gosling's leg. We released it back to Momma Goose, and it happily - and freely! - joined the group.

Another good example of why you should ALWAYS clean up after yourself. Please don't ever leave fishing line lying around.