Friday, 21 May 2010

Urban Jungle

After several false starts in the shape of overnught frosts, it appears we might finally have welcomed Spring in Chicago. My dog walk yesterday was glorious, sunny and warm. I took her over to the beach (alas, can't let her off) and through the park. This was my view.

That's part of the Chicago skyline; the John Hancock building to be exact.

Mind you, it's not always plain sailing, this dog-walking. Apart from the fact that she goes mental when she sees other dogs, (either crying or barking), there are the devil-geese to contend with. We have hundreds of Canadian geese around the lakefront and the newly conserved North Pond. How come they haven't gone back to Canada anyway? It can't still be that cold up there surely.

On Monday, there was almost an incident however. We rounded a corner to find ourselves trapped between a busy road and a goose family. Teeny goslings, and rather large parents. Before I had time to think, the bloody dad had spotted the dog and rose up in the air protectively, running towards us and generally being a bit scary. (Having been bitten by a friend's goose in my teens, I had no wish to repeat the experience.) The poor dog nearly had a heart attack and started backing away so desperately that she almost got her hind quarters bashed off by a passing Ford Explorer. The goose however, realised that if the dog had to defend herself she would probably win and backed off enough to let me run away with her.  (All this time the traffic lights were on red, giving the stationary drivers a terrific lunchtime cabaret.)

As a result, yesterday's walk had me zig-zagging all over the place as I attempted to stay well away from the sodding geese. Since they associate humans with food, they have no problem approaching us so it was a bit of a job to keep a safe distance.  I thought I had found a safe, goose-free walk near the harbo(u)r but if you look closely at the picture above, (near the top right of the path) you can see two of the beasts parading around, ready for war.

I was planning our getaway but we were also surrounded by other dog-walkers which causes equally stressful situations at the moment. (She's going to K9 University next week for some socializing.)  And then I realised what the real problem was:

I need to get my eyes tested again!

Ferocious aren't they?



  1. Ha ha - they can be quite savage!

  2. I am a tad scared of geese because I had a bit of an unpleasant encounter when I was a child!
    Its lovely to see photos of USA.
    Hope you will do some more regularly!

    Nuts in May

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  4. Geese and I are not friends. I was a cox for 7 years (still am, when bribed with alcohol/ chocolate) and the only thing on the river more vicious than the geese were the fishermen! Well, and the swans when they had cygnets, but only if you were heading straight for them.

  5. Lucky escape with the Ford and the geese. I do all I can to keep my dogs away from then.
    Chicago looks great! Sunny and very warm in Essex, Uk today. Maybe summer is on it's way.

  6. I need to get my eyes tested too. The last time was about 10 years ago and my eyes really hurt when I am sitting in front of the screen. Like now.
    If only eye testing wouldn't make me feel so terribly old. How wouldn't it? I have age-related eye disease... *sniff* *sobb*

  7. I need to get my eyes tested too. The last time was about 10 years ago and my eyes really hurt when I am sitting in front of the screen. Like now.
    If only eye testing wouldn't make me feel so terribly old. How wouldn't it? I have age-related eye disease... *sniff* *sobb*

  8. Those cones are so cute and fluffy!!

  9. What a funny post, love it!! I am short sighted as well and I have these moments so I completely relate. As for the rest of the post, 'lunchtime cabaret' is a fab description. Great lunchtime reading for me!

  10. I really loved Chicago when I was there in April and we had some unreal weather — really hot one day, really cold the next, rain, sleet, scorching sun!

  11. We saw some baby geese on the Thames today ... I swear thy had green in them!

    Glad you have Spring, we have summer today ... high 80s woo-hoo!

  12. hilarious. As they say over here - should have gone to specsavers...............
    My dad and Pete were chased by geese when he was a toddler at a farm shop. My dad, who was really quite disabled by then and walked badly, actually ended up sprinting away to get Pete safe. It was quite an adventure, and a testament to what the human spirit can do when pushed.....
    Bear it in mind on your next walk out with pup

  13. The ones with green in them (at least here) are the Canadian devil-geese. Beware.
    Mind you, there not as bad as swans. I really hate those vicious things, epspecially the ones on the river near Hampton Court Palace. They chased us back to the car last year and we were only trying to feed them. Yuck.

  14. Hello,
    I was in Chicago in April too (as per Limey) and had fab weather, but the the North Pond was not quite finished yet.
    As for Canadian geese, well I could say more than a few choice words about those blighters. They are all over my college grounds, leaving little piles of green muck on the pavements. The plus is that they've just had high cuteness factor.
    As for the weather, Summer has reached north London. Glorious.

  15. Yeah...vicious things those cones. Think I'd rather take my chances with the geese...

  16. I have some tales about dog walking.. but geese and swans are indeed good to avoid. Generally cones don't cause too much trouble, but you can never tell...


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