Studies in Ghost Geese

The first time I witnessed a blast of Snow Geese I described it this way:

The sound of flocking snow geese is sometimes described as a “cacophony,” a “symphony,” a “storm” — a “baying of hounds,” a “noise blizzard.” The sound, in fact, varies. There’s a comfortable warbling of goose grumbles and calls as the birds graze, punctuated by escalations that bubble up in sections of the flock. Then, there is the silence — a sudden, dead halt to the goose voices. It’s just a blip, a clipped hesitation, a warning.

What follows the silence is more than a storm. It’s a boom. It’s an eruption of wings that ignites the sky in a white blaze. The flighted mayhem is so organized and brilliant, it’s choreography — wingtip to wingtip in squadron maneuvers that should collide but never do — where thousands of feathered souls alight in unison, twirl across Cumulus backdrops, then drop down in formation like white petals.

I watched this spectacle again last week, on the rural quilt of Fir Island farmland, meeting up with friends who’d flown in from the Bay Area. On this particular visit, I slowed the shutter … for a couple of reasons. First, I was hindered by the Northwestern winter, tenebrous and unforgiving. Second, I wanted to capture the words above in images that suggested souls, blazes, whiteness, and cumulous wings.

I photographed these Snow Goose blasts at 1/20, f16, IS200 … hand-holding the Olympus OM-D. The light and tone was variable from east to west, from moment to moment as the sun sank, still cloaked in brume. I shifted white balance for effect, and brought up some contrasts and details to mold abstractions and apparitions from the corporeal.

The result: The Ghost Geese of Fir Island.





Snow Goose Blur on Fir Island


  1. says

    It is very common to find fancy and colored
    diamonds iin the market today. You’ll be surprised to know that
    the company offers best prices for your old jewelry in the industry.
    Every diamond should be graded to know its real value.

    Also visit my site: Sell Diamonds


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose Your Favorite Recent Post