Rachel Field, in her poem about wild geese, said that they know when to fly south to avoid the frost and snow of winter. When she lived in New England, she saw the geese form their squadrons each autumn and take wing for southern living quarters. But she never, as far as is known, spent much time around Boise or made the acquaintance of our local tribe of geese. If she had, she would have seen what we see during the winter months: geese sleeping in icy parking lots and eating frost-covered grass in the city parks.
And the geese stay through the summer, raising their families along the river and in the parks. Boise is in a swath of territory from central Washington to northern Utah that has the distinction of being a year-round home for Canada geese. In almost all other locations in the U.S., geese are summer residents only, winter residents only, or migrants—just passing through.
Here are a few ideas why geese might be fond of Boise. First, the town has a free-flowing river that does not usually freeze over. Lake Lowell and the Snake River  are also areas of open water nearby. In addition, the  Snake and Columbia rivers provide a sheltered flight path through the mountains to warmer regions along the Pacific coast. If Boise becomes intolerably cold, the birds can fly to the coast in about two days. Whatever the real reasons may be, the fact remains that using only the sense that God gave a goose, geese have decided on Boise as a permanent home.

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