Last month my husband and I visited the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge. We spent the morning hanging out with a giant gaggle of snow geese.
By now, the geese are making their way to the arctic tundra. My hometown lies about 950 miles due north, between the Missouri and Sioux Rivers in South Dakota.
I like to imagine the snow geese found their way from San Bernard to Elk Point, enjoying the hospitality of the friendly fields and ponds of my people. (Though I would advise the geese to steer clear of the hunting spots.)
Lopez’s 1982 article for Outside Magazine “The Staging of Snow Geese,” is about the annual migration in California. It struck me for its eloquent bird words, as well as its ongoing relevance as a commentary on the state of migration routes in America.
Below are excerpts from Lopez’s snow geese essay, paired with photos my husband Steve took that February day in Texas.