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Another Portland Blog

Monday, November 21, 2005

 

Avian soccer hooligans

Last spring a building near my workplace was torn down to make way for an Astroturf soccer field. No one around the office seems to know the reason for this and I rarely, if ever see anyone using it. I suspect that the company that owns this business park (they prefer to call it a "campus"), in a fit of jealously, decided to imitate one of its corporate neighbors* and shell out a few hundred grand for the field.

Another weird quirk of the campus is its seasonal geese population. Every November around a hundred or more Canadian geese take up residence on the lawns and spend most of their time looking adorable and honking when they're not leaving green droppings all over the place. Come March, they block traffic as they lead their goslings across the main road for their daily dips in a nearby stream.

So the geese started showing up two weeks ago and there seems to more of them around than usual. Maybe it has something to do with global warming or maybe more of them decided to relocate this year due to all the press avian flu is getting up north in their homeland**. Either way, it's more than a little creepy. These damn birds are all over the place and none of them seem to have visas.

And they really seem to like the soccer field. I went for a walk on Friday and was surprised to find nearly eighty of them running around. Perhaps they'd just seen "Green Street Hooligans" and were trying to organize their own soccer riot. Or maybe they just enjoy the choosy feel of Astroturf under their little webbed feet. Whatever the reason, they're making a daily habit of it. They were out on the field again this afternoon.

The geese won't be going anywhere until April. I hope they learn how to play soccer by then. That would be fantastic, wouldn't it? And infinitely preferable to a flu outbreak.

----------------

* I tried but failed to make a reference to today's SNAFU out at the airport. Sorry.

** I could be at ground central for an outbreak but no one else around here seems to be concerned.

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