Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ghosts of the Past & Not so Wild Goose Chases

When we went south to Tuscon we passed the Tom Mix Memorial park. Who was Tom Mix? Why is there a wash named after him?
Tom Mix was a major star of the silver screen, a silent movie cowboy. One of the most successful and popular cowboys in the early moving pictures. His publicist claimed he was a real cowboy, reality claimed no such history. He was well liked and did well until the talkies came out. Apparently his voice didn't match the imagined voice audiences had given him in his silent roles. He was accepting of the change. He died in a freak accident on that road. The wash where he died has been named after him, with the park honoring his memory. I wonder how many drive by unaware of who he was, who may not recall his name later for a Google search.
Casa Grande Ruins
On our way back toward Florence we stopped at Casa Grande Ruins. The ruins of a Hohokam settlement. The Hopi and Zuni tribes both are among the tribes whose ancestors lived there. We saw the walls, looked at the displays and watched the movie on the history of Casa Grande. There were footprints in the hardened earth, even though they were recently made you could see a man from centuries past walking through the settlement.
Back visiting Apache Junction, attracted by the closeness of friends and the Superstition Mountains we are staying for a few days. 
We travel with a Canada Goose Hybrid and a kitten. The kitten, Sadhu loves being with us and rarely ventures where he can't see us. He's a Hemingway Maine coon mix and he has six toes on his front feet- he has thumbs.
Gracie, the goose is graceful in the water. Gracie does not believe she is a goose, as a baby she imprinted on Danny. She isn't potty trained, she dislikes bicycles and loves blue cheese and refried beans.
Geese aren't known for common sense for good reason. She likes to watch cars drive around her, she is certain she can intimidate predators, and she doesn't fly back to you. She does take grass from your hand, grooms your hair, and sleeps peacefully by Danny's feet. No wonder more people choose cats, dogs, ferrets, parrots, rats, mice, snakes, potbelly pigs than geese as pets. She doesn't like being touched or petted. She is a no pet pet.
It takes an amazing level of devotion. You never know when your going to have to climb a six foot fence to throw your big goose back to your side of the fence, while a confused dog watches. You never know when she's going to fly down the block, resulting in panicked bike rides and shouting so she calls back and ends the frantic hide and seek while you notice every loose dog and hungry looking pedestrian on the street. 
Danny Lord and Gracie

Before we let her out there are many considerations, you see everything eats a plump corn fed goose. Everything has to be considered, from dog owners that assume leashes are for other people to dangerous fences and highways. The Secret Service has it easier than goose watch. The President has some common sense and survival instincts, or so we assume.
Yesterday she stretched her wings and we did not see which way she banked to land. On foot, bicycle, and motorcycle we searched and called out. We sounded like a disturbed flock of geese. No answer. Worry built. We went through this anguish when Rumor vanished only to turn up having been hit by a car. Rumor was our cat before Sadhu. The worst fears were gaining ground. We searched all the roads, asked everyone we saw, still empty handed. Hearts heavy, anxiety high, haunted by the loss of Rumor.
That was when Danny suddenly turned into a driveway. There she was, with a sweet woman trying to read her tag to find the number to call us. She had given her water in the hopes Gracie would let her catch the last mystery number on that tag. Sheri was sweet, we had a nice visit with a kind hearted neighbor who really did goose chase to try for the numbers on the tag. I think we're going to adjust the tag for readability. Sheri had all but one number written down.
Gracie is relaxed and her pen is safely set up. The guard can rest a little, she can enjoy the desert weather. Sadhu plays, amused by goose watch. He thinks herding the goose is a game we play, maybe he's right.