Together 2013

my photography, non-fiction No Comments »

This morning, while simply walking out into my back yard, a flock of geese overhead caught my attention, as they always do…You ever wonder why geese fly in a V formation? A couple of years ago as I lay in soft summer grass, with two small children identifying white fluffy sky-dragons, dolphins, and dinosaurs, I watched a massive flock of geese flying in the distance. As the children continued identifying the morphing wisps of clouds, I watched the geese overhead, noticing their precision “choreography” not unlike the famed Blue Angels of the US Navy. I wondered how the geese “decided” to do such a thing? Who gets to be the lead goose? What are his/her qualifications? I’m sure the simple answer would be instinct, but that wasn’t enough for me.

After browsing the Internet, I came across several articles~ Until recently, scientists could only theorize as to why geese and other large, migratory birds adopted the V formation for flying long distances. Most ornithologists believed that this formation made for more efficient flying but could offer no hard proof.

However, a new study put this theory to the test. A team of scientists taped heart monitors to a group of pelicans that were trained to fly behind a small airplane. They discovered that the heart rates of the birds were lower when flying in a V than when flying solo. Migrating birds use the “squadron” formation because it allows them to glide more often, conserving energy. The aerodynamic V shape reduces the air resistance, allowing the geese to cover longer distances. In fact, a flock of geese can fly 70 percent farther by adopting the V shape rather than flying in isolation.

The V formation may offer other benefits as well. Each bird has an unobstructed field of vision, allowing flock members to see each other and communicate while in flight. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone . . . and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are. When the head goose gets tired it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs . . . with people or with geese. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own to catch up with another formation or to catch up with their original group.

I say we do have the sense of a goose; we stand by each other for support, and we sit with each other until our souls fly off to join another formation…and eventually we launch out on our own to catch up with another formation or catch up with our original group. We live better together…Apparently, no goose is an island either ~ nannette rogers kennedy

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Where Do We Start?

current events, non-fiction, poetry 2 Comments »


First we cry.
Then we hold on
to one another
for the help
of continuing
to stand.

Then…

Not unlike the first
piece of rubble
picked up after
NYC’s twin towers came down…

Not unlike the first
chunk of cement
removed after
the earthquakes
in Japan and Haiti…

Not unlike the first
bags of water
helicopters dropped
on the 2012 wildfires…

Not unlike the first
boards and walls
pulled away after
the Joplin tornado…

we begin with reaching
for the first
downed branch
floating dish
passing chair
ruined & cherished photos
old family paintings
& worn letters
yellowed baby books &
black & white home movies
and so much more
that hurricane Sandy
stole and blew away
with the ease
of a breath…

We begin again.
That’s who we are.
We human beings
refuse to remain
battered.

nannette rogers kennedy
October 30 2012

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