Photographer's Note

To open the spring season, here is a couple of greylag geese which rested to the edge of the Kir lake, in Dijon.

As many residents of Dijon, I took advantage of good weather to go for a walk on Sunday. Temperature was summery (22C - 72F, when it snowed ten days before!). I went along the lake when I see in the distance these two wild geese. I approach softly, sit on the grass to about 15 meters and prepare the equipment quietly. Joggers passed by, children played noisily, and nothing's any good. They didn't move. I took several shots, of which this one, and continued my walk...

The greylag goose is the most common of the wild geese in Europe. This migratory bird holds the altitude record. It can fly over the Everest Mount, at an altitude more than 9 000 m (29 500 ft). They are social birds who mingle, during their migration, to other species and form lasting couples. The nesting period is from April to June. The goose mainly eats grass, but also clovers, dandelions, seeds and aquatic plants.

The relationship between the goose and our fellow-men is not insignificant. Besides the fact that its meat is excellent, it is appreciated by the French for its "foie gras" (fat liver), which is eaten during the celebration of New Year or Christmas. Its feather was the most appreciated by priests, writers and artists to write and draw in the past. These are the famous sacred geese of the Capitol who, in 390 BC, saved Rome by raising the alarm through their cries when the Gauls tried to take over the citadel. These are the wild geese who teach to the young Nils kindness and respect to others in the tale "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson" written by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlf.

"Don't Be Shy", Cat Stevens, album "Footsteps in the Dark" (1984).

f5, 1/125s, ISO 200, +0EV, 330mm (220mm x 1.5).
JPEG Quality : 85/100.

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Additional Photos by Philippe Verbaere (phi729) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 375 W: 31 N: 557] (2101)
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