Within hours of the mercury nudging towards 80 degrees on Friday afternoon a herd of low flying cows winged over Bullfrogs Bar and Grill on M-15 just south of Ortonville, gliding to a lawn landing near the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Lousie. Plop-plop-plop! Most patrons - and there were many on this unseasonably warm afternoon - paid no attention. I know it happened. I was there. Lest you wonder the drink of my choice was ice tea with a slice of lemon.
You recognize these creatures as Canada Geese, but many of the geese in Oakland County are now so finely attuned to our ways, that their life is very much like that of a cow when it comes to grazing. They essential ignore us. And it is the just greened up lawn of Bullfrogs that serves as a magnet - a temptress Garden of Eden - for these geese. Twenty five years ago geese grazing and just 'chilling' within yards of noisy activity on any bar and grill deck would not have happened. Geese were far less common and far more skitterish way back then. No more, for it's all a matter of 'flight distance': how close to a food source will geese go if humans are nearby. The flight distance has shifted to next to nothing as geese adapt to our ways and recognize that humans chowing on burgers, slurping on brew and even the roar of motorcyles in the parking lot pose no threat. Try a twenty foot away approach on geese in the wilds and you wont get close - those geese would look at us as a clear and present danger.