Winter is coming (in the northern hemisphere)

by Matthew Cobb

Amazing skeins of geese over Scotland this morning:

h/t @alisonatkin


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Yes, our view and noise such as this has passed already but the weather is remaining warm. Believe that will change by this next weekend. The geese always know when to go regardless of the weather.

  2. Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Winter should have already arrived. The forecast in northern Vermont this week is all daytime highs in the 50’s.

    European geese are migrating 30 days later than 30 years ago. These photos document climate change.

    Meanwhile, the Arctic is broiling hot, with sea ice extent in uncharted low territory:

  3. dougeast
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    “skeins of geese”. Love it when I learn a new word…

    • rickflick
      Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      The word is old. Your love is new. 🙂

    • bluemaas
      Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      O, me too !

      This !


  4. Hempenstein
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    This reminds me of when I was in Stockholm, in the Saluhall at Hötorget – an underground marketplace with small sellers, beside the Konserthus (Concert house) where the Nobel ceremonies are held. Anyway, one stall had a sign: VILDA GÅS. It took a few seconds to process. Oh! Wild Goose? I guess I said to some surprise. (So this was in 1984)

    The seller was a bit less English-fluent than average, and he said, “Ja! Vilda gås! Wilda goose. Fraan Scotland! Margaret Thatcher!

    I got one, and after cooking it we found buckshot still in it.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Yes, “vildgäss” are popular food items at restaurants and some homes. Seems buckshots are impossible to remove in practice, and I have bitten on some. Verifies your buy at a guess.

      But I suspect your memory is clouded by the typical lampoon of swedish pronunciation? If the sign wasn’t “vild gås” (wild goose/geese, standard use in foods) it would have been “vildgäss” (wild geese, standard use ‘in the wild’). Or possibly the sign was put up by an immigrant?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Pan-fried Thatcher?
      I wonder if Mexico’s cookery maestros have come up with a range of extremely unpalatable Trump-themed foods. Yet.
      Looking for the punch line “I’m not paying or that!”

  5. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Oh geese, what a tangled web they weave! Is it an illusion due to the viewing angle, or are they really flying in “a mixed airspace” – I have never seen that before I think?

    In the latter case I wonder what altitude difference the typical V-formations use?

  6. busterggi
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Saturday night while trying to get my cats in I could hear the geese flying overhead. Wonderfull experience.

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Winter is icummen in,
    Lhude sing Goddamm.
    Raineth drop and staineth slop,
    And how the wind doth ramm!
    Sing: Goddamm.

    Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
    An ague hath my ham.
    Freezeth river, turneth liver,
    Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

    Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
    So ‘gainst the winter’s balm.

    Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
    Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

    Ezra Pound

  8. Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Looks like they were trying to spell something in the sky. If they can master that they’ll make a killing in the advertising business.

  9. Diane G.
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Such sights are always wondrous! I happen to live in a place where we get the same phenomenon with Sandhill Cranes. A very poor picture of skeins of cranes filling the sky:


    Don’t know if that will reproduce in enough detail, but there are many further skeins further distant in the lower left part of the sky…

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 15, 2016 at 2:10 am | Permalink

      Wish I had a handy video–the Sandhill vocalizations sound positively primordial to me.

  10. Graham
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    This isn’t far from me and I grew up in East Perthshire where many of these pink-footed geese, (Anser brachyrhynchus) spend the winter. The reserve at Loch leven, where these birds will have spent the night, has around 20,000 roosting geese just now. They breed in Iceland.

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