Just Typical

gaggle 0520
Oh, for a telephoto lens: this is the best my aging, $100 phone could manage without me moving closer, which didn’t seem a good idea. Arrested for disturbing goose peace is not my thing.

We got our property valuation notice awhile back, and I got around to looking at it the other day. This is our first paper from the assessor’s office with a complete house on our lot. I don’t know if last year’s notice factored a house-in-progress, but if it was just for the land we seem to have underpaid by a lot for the lot, and overpaid for the house.

Of course, assessor numbers are never market numbers, and if they want to undervalue the house we don’t plan to sell, then that’s just less property tax to pay, so I’m not worried about that. But there are other parts of our assessment I would like to protest, albeit not formally. Just here with you.

Our construction is described as “average” and our building “conventional.” That might be an affront to Dusty’s careful efforts to keep us warm and energy efficient, although I imagine they’re just basic assessing terms. However, they do rate our exterior condition as “excellent,” so you’d think our construction would warrant more than a passing grade as well.

[And here I would like to pause to say that while we haven’t had as many of the overt electrical malfunctions of late, I had a bad moment two days ago when I went to turn on the month-old printer. It wouldn’t work. I tried again, and then again. I wiggled the power cord and made sure it was properly plugged in at both ends. Standing on the point of desperation — as desperate as it gets when one thinks the new printer has been fried — I unplugged from the bottom outlet and put it in the top, and it worked. After using it, I disconnected from our dangerous walls. The next day, I plugged it into the bottom outlet and it turned on without issue. I absolutely cannot explain this to you, but it grows wearisome.]

Be the construction as it may, here is what I’d really like to protest: In the “other attributes” section of the notice, right above “water influence,” it says we have “typical or average views.”

It is clear, the county and I have different standards.

Sure, maybe we’re not 18,000 square feet perched near a ridgeline looking down the valley, or perhaps that’s lording over the valley, but trust me, I am well versed in average, and that is not what we have here.

What we have here, finally, is . . . baby geeses!

Due to our “water influence,” we have a bird’s-eye view on the world, although so far this is not explaining the nature of geese to me. We had a pair of geese, which I thought might result in babies but ultimately didn’t seem to, and then we had a trio, about which I made no projections (live and let live), and then two disappeared and left one, which Lynn promptly christened Lucy. Or maybe the Desi Arnaz spelling: Loosey.

In my mind, I imagined Goose One and Goose Two saying to Lucy: Hey, it’s time to head north. You comin’ with? To which Lucy responded, I kinda like here. I think I’ll stick around.

And here she (? — how do we know?) stayed, by herself, for a week or more, seemingly unperturbed on her own, spending large chunks of her day on the treeless lot just south of us, taking wing if the fox came too close, sometimes floating placidly on the pond — you know, in average fashion.

One day a large bird of prey circled around for awhile, then decided to land on a post overlooking the giant, tempting fish in the pond. This much is clear: we need a bird book.

So the big brown bird with a sort-of-but-not-really-white head sat on the post while Lucy pecked the ground nearby, as happens every ordinary where, and Lynn and I thought to ourselves, How typical.

And then yesterday, the gaggle arrived. Babies in tow!

We don’t know many things. For instance, we don’t know where all the geese came from. We’re guessing not far, traveling with young-uns, who have already lost their cuddly fuzziness and look rather bald. We also don’t know if Lucy flocks among them. Again, knowing next to nothing about geese, we don’t know if they parent as pairs, but there are now six adults and a bunch of mobile babies that are harder to count. Seven-ish, at the best guess (aided by binoculars) so far. We don’t know how long they’re going to stay.

Kara warned me, via text, not to get too attached to the babies. I texted back that each of them already had first and last names, with baby books started for each. But I am well aware of Lucy’s friendly foe the fox, who balks at going too far after grown geese but might find a fledgling to be a worthwhile effort. Even if they dodge the foxes, dogs and whatever other four-footed creatures are on the prowl (maybe those with talons, too), soon they will all fly away and leave me, and I will take it very personally.

In the meantime, we have your very average goose armada floating nearby, and I am taking in this assessor-defined “typical” view and enjoying it atypically, even if it’s really nothing to write home about.

 

 

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