Geese of course are beautiful animals — sleek, serene, majestic in flight.
On the ground they also are silly, if not just downright dumb, when it comes to picking places to birth the next generation.
For years, a female goose has picked the middle of the parking lot at the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal, near Von Maur, to sit on eggs. Lots of geese also have liked areas around corporate headquarters of State Farm and the Country Financial grounds in Bloomington.
A few years ago, one even chose a heavily traversed doorway as a place to wile out maternity. It was sort of like the Aflac duck, in the middle of 15,000 State Farm folk trying to get inside for work.
Now, the ultimate.
This spring, a goose is nesting at Normal’s Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center —next to the entrance of its (we would not kid) "Mother Baby Unit."
Yes, Virginia, besides Santa, there is a “Mother Goose” in maternity, too.
Right there, amidst the heavily traveled area for cars, delivery trucks, ambulances and pedestrians sits Mom Goose, nestled on her eggs. If only she had a waiting-room magazine to read.
Across the way — on top of a nearby doctor's building — roosts an ever-vigilant, ever-protective father goose.
“While mom is in the middle of the lot, up on the roof of the next building is dad and he paces back and forth, watching,” says Karen Timmerman, an Advocate BroMenn volunteer. “It’s just too funny to watch.”
The hospital would be laughing, too, but officials have been warned that pregnant geese are federally protected by Department of Natural Resources rules.
“It’s a felony!” as one in security enforcement was saying the other afternoon.
Thus, until goslings erupt, the area has been marked off with orange cones and red "danger" tape.
"I guess it makes sense," theorizes Eric Alvin, a hospital spokesman successfully finding the proper spin. "We're No. 1 among humans (as a place to birth a child). So now I guess we're No. 1 among water fowl, too.”
Famous luxurious travel destinations for $1,000, Alex: Paris ... Rome … London … Honolulu … the Caribbean … Bloomington, Ill.
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Doing interviews in B-N these days — for a piece to appear in September in the Travel section of the New York Times — is Lynn Freehill-Maye, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based writer originally from Chenoa.
Her travel feature will be on Twin City area locales and haunts the late, great ISU professor and “Infinite Jest” author David Foster Wallace especially loved.
“So a story idea whipped through my head,” says Lynn. “This quirky-genius, wild-maximalist, yet somehow sincere-moralist of a writer who’s the subject of a movie (2015’s `The End of the Tour’) and (whose) thousand-page masterwork, “Infinite Jest, would be out in a 20th anniversary edition in 2016. Could I sell national travelers on visiting Wallace’s Central Illinois?”
Even more difficult to sell perhaps: New York City newspaper editors. They can be maximal curmudgeons, especially of story ideas on outposts out in the boonies and wilds of America (anything west of Ohio).
But Lynn did, and has, and in September B-N will be New York Central — at least to readers of the venerated Times.
Funniest yet perhaps: Outside of his insightful, circumlocutory (one of his favorite words) writings, David Foster-Wallace was a simple Midwestern guy who skipped high style and instead loved places like Monical’s Pizza, and Denny’s, and the Coffeehouse in uptown Normal.
Still to come: Worldly New Yawkers looking for a great deal on a Monical’s Family Pleaser?
Not exactly eggs-tatic: So geese can be nutty. But have you noticed the crows this spring?
Gail Nolan has.
An east side Bloomington resident, she had grandchildren coming over for Easter. So with rain in the forecast, she hid candy inside plastic eggs in the house and filled 30 others with quarters, dimes and nickels and put those out in the backyard.
Within minutes, she noticed crows trolling around the yard, studying the odd, colored orbs.
An hour later, Gail looked out and watched a crow fly off with one.
She ran out, chased the bird that dropped the egg in a nearby retention basin and on the walk back, noticed two or three more eggs, money on the ground, holes pecked through them.
Her husband Denny went into the basin and found even more eggs, cracked open, coinage askew.
“We had to be on `crow watch’ so there’d be some left for the children!” says Gail. “I guess the crows need money now to finance ... their new families.”
It's something to crow about. Indeed.
Crazy place, Central Illinois in the spring.
Flick is at email@example.com