Out and About – Week of July 18th

St. Joseph County is blessed with many lakes, ponds and rivers. Perhaps that is why Michigan is known as “The Water Wonderland”. Lakefront property can be quite expensive, not only for the style of house on the property, but because of the convenience of having access to all the water activities that come with living on the lake. Having the wildlife just outside that picture window is a real bonus.

Being able to look out the window, or sit on the deck and observe the waterfowl floating by can be quite relaxing. Unfortunately, the ducks and geese don’t always stay in the water. The geese especially can make a big mess if they decide to spend time on your lawn. Thanks to Bryce Airgood of the Lansing State Journal, here are some tips on how to better get along with these feathered friends:

Make your yard less attractive. Many homeowners take a lot of pride in keeping their lawns well maintained. The grass is kept manicured, watered and fertilized. Geese love this. If you love goose droppings on your lawn, keep up the good work. Otherwise, you might try keeping the grass a little taller at the water’s edge and cut back on the fertilizer.
Don’t feed the ducks and geese. Intentionally feeding the geese can easily attract more of them to your property, and also make them feel more comfortable and welcome around you. This will lead to overcrowding and the likely hood of spreading disease among the other birds. Geese can go without food for an extended amount of time, and when they do want to eat, they can very easily fend for themselves. Artificial feeding is not necessary and can actually be harmful to their health.
Try scare tactics. You can scare them away without hurting them. There are a variety of noise makers that will let the geese know that they are not wanted. There are also visual deterrents such as balloons or flags that will act as “You are wanted here” signs.
Please remember that you are not permitted to disturb the nests and eggs. They are protected under federal law. Just about every year a “Goose Roundup” is conducted. At this time, a certain number of geese and their young are rounded up and relocated to a more suitable area where they will be happier.

Our society has changed quite a bit over the past twenty or thirty years. People dress differently, being politically correct is very important, and we all seem to take things more seriously than we should. People take offense too easily and, of course, being polite and having manners just isn’t that important anymore. I won’t even go into detail on having respect for each other. Here are some things we shouldn’t do, if we want to be more generally socially acceptable:

Don’t repeat scandals, or malicious gossip
Don’t underrate everything others do, and overstate your own doings.
Don’t scoff or speak ill of a rival in your profession or trade. (If you’re a politician, remember this and practice it.)
Don’t borrow books unless you return them promptly.
Don’t play the accordion, the violin, the piano, or any musical instrument to access. Your neighbors have nerves, and need a little relief from inflictions of this kind.
Don’t be selfish.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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