The beautiful ballet flight of geese
Today I was driving along when I noticed a large vee of geese, small black birds silohuetted against the luminous grey clouds. While I sat at a red light, I noticed a band of ten other geese joining them, blending into the vee seamlessly, like ballerinas weaving two lines together. Another small band wove their way in, and then the whole conglomeration swirled into a circle, and began to spin lazily. In a few moments, a second vee joined the spiral, and then a third. A minute later, two more vees appeared on the horizon and merged with the bigger group. Soon several smaller groups split off, all of them spinning, spinning in the sky. By now I had pulled over to watch this graceful display. Without warning, a group broke away, effortlessly forming a new vee, heading northward. They were followed closely by a second and then a third, leaving two smaller groups still wheeling above me.
It was truly an amazing sight. Like a ballet of birds. I assume they had found an nice updraft and were circling higher to find a more favorable wind for their flight north, although I've never heard of geese doing this. Most amazing of all was how the geese congregated -- smaller groups joining in, larger groups coming to the same spot. How did they know where to find the updraft? How far can the voice of a goose carry? The later vees were beyond sight when I first stopped. They must have come from a considerable distance to join this dance.
However they found this same spot, it was truly a wondrous sight.