The Aleutian geese are almost ready to fly - at 45 miles an hours - all the way to the Aleutian islands. The geese are right now taking off from the bird sanctuary by the Hookton Slough at dawn to fatten themselves on the green pasture land all around Humboldt bay. It is a peak experience! Here's a photo by G. Inkeles, and a digital image inspired by his photo, by me, of the cross stitch patterns the geese make in the sky. Our friend and neighbor David Fix, birder and coauthor of our most used birding book, Birds of Nothern California, coined the cross stitch description.
It is well worth getting up early for this springtime phenomenon. It will end suddenly in a week or so. After standing in the chill air with the birds cackling overhead, you can head to King Salmon and breakfast on crabs Benedict at Gills on the Bay. If you are lucky you can sit at the large table on the raised area of the old time diner, and study the Aleutian islands on a map baked right into the table.