Maybe its because the arrival of these birds back to the Outer Banks marks the end of another years descent into summer time insanity. Maybe its because snow geese are inextricable for the cultural history of the Outer Banks, considered by many to be just as important to the “creation” of the tourism economy around these parts as the dictatorship of mosquitoes and the malarial pestilence that once ruled over the South with an iron fist. Or maybe these birds are just interesting to watch as they come in by the hundreds and then thousands. . . I dont know. Either way, I look forward to their return each year. I mark calenders by their return. I plan my winter around these birds. So what can I say? The geese are back, and I’m pretty stoked about it.
Long before people showed up on these islands wearing colorful Hawaiian shirts, awkwardly tall socks with sandals, and purposefully mispronouncing the names of most of our towns under the justification that its what they call the town back in Pennsylvania, they came to hunt these birds. The famed Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge derives its name from the dune pea that grows along that stretch of the island for which was once a major draw for these geese to this area. The northern stretch of the Outer Banks lies within the county of Currituck – an anglicized bastardization of the Algonquian word Coratoke which means Land of many (or wild) geese. This is where I live. The land of many geese. If only people would put away their rebel flags and acknowledge that in these parts geese are the real heritage. Well, that and piracy!