Where I live, the Delaware River is entrenched between 300 foot hills to the east and west. And we’re on a terrace in-between that slopes gradually onto a smaller terrace that marks the river’s floodplain.


Where I live, the Delaware River is entrenched between 300 foot hills to the east and west. And we’re on a terrace in-between that slopes gradually onto a smaller terrace that marks the river’s floodplain.
The hills dictate that our sunrise is about 40 minutes later than Honesdale’s, and sunset about an hour earlier. So at the spring equinox, on March 20, when the sun arose in Honesdale at 7:04 a.m., it cleared the rim of our eastern hill at 7:44 a.m., the precise moment it crossed the equator on its journey north.
As I snapped a picture and marveled at this coincidence, a long skein of geese appeared above the river, each bird stretched to the full as it steered across a millennia’s-old flyway.
Ancestors may have begun these journeys as the last (Wisconsin) glacier melted and the river pulsed with ice and melt-water, as it still does after a hard winter.
Timing is critical for these geese migrants, plus the faith to follow their instincts and the ingenuity to cope with late winter storms and frozen lakes and ponds.
On March 9, as the first ice-free channels opened, I figured it was more than coincidence that a big “V” of geese went honking upriver.