Sunday, May 10, 2015

For Frequent Fliers, is Paradise a Parking Lot?

"Getting away from it all" is one of the main reasons for travel, and "it all" normally includes work, urban sprawl and the weather. Human Canadians who annually escape the harsh northern winter for sunnier climes are known as "snowbirds," and just like these natives, they always come home to roost. Canadian geese are found all over North America, but their adaptability makes them one of the most recognizable urban birds. Migrating flocks are a common sight in spring and fall, noisy v-shaped formations reflective of the order and free discourse of the Canadian people, and its willingness to stay in queue.

Only the human species need stop at the border for customs and immigration. Migrating birds really rack up the frequent flier miles on inexpensive tickets.

Real estate is dear in the Toronto region, and it's hard to find a good yard away from traffic for the kids.

Geese may be one of the few connections with wildlife for many people in Canada's largely urban population. The Greater Toronto Area alone is home to a full third of the population, and there are areas where it seems the only thing growing is condominiums. For how many people are these birds the first glimpse of a wider world, inspiring the travel that freedom affords? But they always come back with a reinforced opinion that Canada is a great place to live, even if home is a parking lot.

At least in the summer.