Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Goose Day, Creamers Field, Fairbanks, Alaska
Early this year. Goose Day was yesterday, April 8. It is often several weeks later. Goose Day marks the arrival of the first Canada geese on the fields at Creamers Dairy. In 1904 Charles and Belle Hinckley started a dairy in Fairbanks. In 1915 they moved to the large fields and wetlands where Creamers Dairy stands today. The Hinkcleys are gone, sold out to Charles and Anna Creamer. The Creamers prospered in the post war years before everything fresh came to Alaska by jet plane. The dairy shut down in 1966. But the land prospered on. The Creamers' spring plowing and fertilizing, and fall harvest created the perfect stop-over for migrating water fowl. Their fields are now a designated wildlife sanctuary. In the years since the dairy closed Kiwanians have spread grain over the plowed fields to keep the birds coming. And come they do. First the Canada Geese. And just a bit later, the Sandhill Cranes. These birds must be on your life list. Words do not do them justice. In case you will not be able to make it up to Fairbanks this spring, here is a video, from Homer Alaska, of their mating dance.