The learning curve

Geese learning to get berries out of a treeLearning is a rather individual activity. But yesterday I received an interesting lesson from nature.

My writing desk sits against the north wall of my small kitchen. It’s the best window in the apartment. I look out at a small cove in a location where the Upper Chesapeake Bay takes in the Susquehanna River. It’s a beautiful location.

In the back yard, the geese – among other wildlife – bring their young ones each spring to munch on grass and to enjoy the berries from the tree that grows from the embankment.

A year ago I watched an adult goose catch berries as the crows flew in and out of the tree branches. Each time the crows would shake leaves as they entered, causing berries to drop. The goose took about an hour before he started to figure out a way to get berries for himself.

He stretched and stretched and even tried to hop up to catch a branch of berries. But to no avail for quite awhile. Then he started to walk around the base of the tree. Suddenly he grabbed a low hanging branch and VOILA! He shook and down came the berries. It wasn’t long before he ‘owned’ that tree.

This year, I saw a goose doing the same thing. Since they often return to the same areas, I tend to believe it’s the same goose. This time, as he shook branches, he had one of his young watching. It didn’t take but about 15 minutes and the younger one was right in there, grabbing the lowest branches and shaking for all he was worth.

My window on Nature can be quite interesting when I spend hours at my writing desk. I’m so pleased to have watched this ‘learning curve’ in a natural setting. It gives me pause.

I wonder how often we do something and don’t realize that someone is watching us. Someone is learning from our actions. Are we showing our best selves, our integrity, our openness? I hope so. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for lessons you might receive from the most unexpected moments in your life.


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