Wildlife Count by Debbie O'Rourke: Humber Bay Park East, Toronto

Protective Canada goose: ink drawing

May 25 Breathwork Opening Celebration: It was very blustery, as wet and stormy and windy as it could have been without cancelling the event entirely. It was as though the air itself was speaking. The air was the star, and the artists, photographers and organizers just tried to hold our own in it, gathering like fluffed-up sparrows in the barbecue area between forays to visit one another's performances. The public was invited but in that weather, our companions were mostly the hardy dog-walkers who are always out, rain or shine. Important to me, the dog-walker who had challenged me came to visit. She enjoyed the gathering and told me she liked the work I'd done.

Our picnic area was in a sheltered dip a few feet from the grand marsh. Until dogs arrived the parental Canada geese seemed to have little concern about our nearness to the many young who have hatched in the past couple of days. But they were alarmed by a solitary swan who was swimming or marching around with his wings up and neck curved in display. It is likely the same renegade Ive seen harrassing the geese for the past week. On this day, 4 geese cooperated to defend about half a dozen goslings. The geese are looking small, their necks very thin: a lot of parental energy is being burned, caring for the young.

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