Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gratitude Haiku

Morning melody
Geese flutter by in a "V"
Open eyes to see.
(ASL 4-17-12)

So, this morning I had a little time on my porch before school.  With my Bible and a piping hot cup of coffee, I settled in to the "symphony" of beautiful birdsong all around me.  I had no more started to thank God for the delight of the moment, when suddenly a flock of geese came squawking by above me.  It was as if the Lord said, "You're Welcome."

I shared my happy morning with my students and told them of the geese in perfect "V" formation.  And then, as usual, came the questions.  "Mrs. Lamb, why do they fly in "V" formation?"  And then, my usual answer, "I don't know.  God just made them that way."

So I came home and "googled" it.  And here is an explanation I found:

 Why do geese and some other birds fly in a V formation?
New Scientist in 2002 published several contradictory possibilities. But we liked this reason from Charlie Bateman (slightly edited):
“A goose's eyes are set in the sides of its head, giving good all-round vision but leaving a small blind spot directly ahead and behind. If a goose were to follow directly behind the one in front it would have to turn its head slightly to see it clearly and would have to resort to asymmetrical flapping to maintain a straight course, reducing its aerodynamic efficiency and wasting energy. It would also have to fly a little below the one in front to stay clear of its wake, not a good place to be as geese defecate in flight. This leaves some kind of echelon formation as the only practical solution.”
There are other advantages to flying in a V formation. For example, experiments have shown that 25 geese flying in a V can travel 70% further than solo birds. The birds function more efficiently in a group working together. Canada goose
Now couldn't you just break out in a shout to glorify the Creator of the geese who implanted this marvelous ability in the birds? Of course you could. God has planted some amazing abilities in birds (mallee fowls take temperature, penguins navigate to land from far out at sea, etc.). But compare that with what New Scientist said:
“Putting these observations together suggests that there is more than one advantage to flocking, and that aerodynamic and social benefits may have evolved together.”
“May have evolved together”? The wisdom of this world is truly foolishness in God's sight (1 Corinthians 3:19).

I can't wait to share this with my class tomorrow.  What a privilege that we can, indeed, "break out in a shout to glorify the Creator of geese who implanted this marvelous ability in birds."

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