The Canadas have invaded the island.

Not the Canadians, the Canadas, because they’re called Canada geese and not Canadian geese (and not gooses).

At any rate, a whole gaggle of the fowl were there waiting for me when I kayaked out. It’s been years since I’ve been to the island, a small tree-covered affair in the middle of a lake usually populated by powerboats and water skiers. I’ve walked across the ice to the island in winter, and in the summer we used to canoe out to a beach on the far side for picnics.

But this time, after heading out early to avoid the high-speed watercraft, the honking greeted me as I approached, and geese appeared on the banks, lined up like a hostile army preparing to defend its position. I circumnavigated to the other side where two Canada geese were wading on the beach and a few more waited back in the woods.

At this point, I decided against making a landing. Geese can be mean, with their hissing and charging, wings spread wide. I once saw a pair of angry geese back a hiker into a pond. He tripped, and they picked his bones clean. But the guy had it coming. He hissed first.

Sure, I could have met the tribe of geese head-on and reclaimed the island in a fair fight. But there were other things to consider. They may have been nesting, protecting a clutch of eggs. Or perhaps they were just stopping for a few days during a trip back north after winter. I did’t want to trigger an international incident.

But mainly I backed down because of the poop. Geese can saturate an area with their droppings in no time, so the island isn’t worth reclaiming, at least not until after they have moved on and the next floods rolls through and cleans out the mess.

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