A turtle was basking in the late summer sunshine; the critter was on a log in the pond at the Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds in Jonesboro.After a dip in the water, the heron looked a little scruffy. The gooses did not seem to mind at all. And none of the critters really seemed to mind having their picture taken. Again. And again. And again...

Please read this..Birds of a feather do, indeed, flock together

As often happens with this weekly effort, the story starts out as one thing and then, somehow, evolves into something entirely different.

Last Thursday afternoon, just because it was a pretty nice first day of September, yours truly decided to pay a visit to the Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds in metropolitan Jonesboro.

The picnic grounds, also known as the "Jonesboro park" in this part of the world, are one of my favorite places to go, just to "get away from it all" for a while.

Over the years, I've been to the picnic grounds many, many times, and, I think, during each of our unique seasons in Union County.

For those of you who might not know, a fellow named Abraham Lincoln paid a visit to what is now the picnic grounds back in the day. I cannot tell you if he had a picnic while he was in Jonesboro.

However, from what I can remember, Mr. Lincoln went on to have a rather significant role in the history of our country following his visit to Jonesboro. And, no, I was not at the picnic grounds when Mr. Lincoln made his visit.

This little gem in Jonesboro is home to a wide range of critters. In recent years, those critters have included gooses. So, when I stopped at the park last week, I wasn't totally surprised to see some gooses. (I know, it's supposed to be "geese." Gooses is more fun, and probably irritating to some folks, too).

I was a little bit surprised, though, as the gooses pretty much seemed to ignore me. They looked like they might have been enjoying an afternoon snack, and then headed over to the pond which is on the grounds. There were a bunch of 'em; maybe the birds figured they had me outnumbered.

At that point, I decided to take a walk on the path which circles the pond. I spotted plenty of turtles, which were enjoying the warm sunshine, dragonflies, a catfish and various other fish which I could not identify.

About halfway around the pond, I saw a heron land. (For the sake of the story, I am going to call the bird a heron. It may have been an ostrich, for all I know.) The heron, like the gooses, didn't seem to be the least bit concerned about my presence.

As I shot some more photographs, the heron made its way to the pond, where the gooses were hanging out. The heron seemed to look at the gooses. The gooses looked back. The heron stepped into the water. The gooses kept on watching; a couple of them moved closer to the heron. Pretty soon, the heron was paddling around in the water with the gooses.

To be honest with you, I'd never seen gooses and a heron do this sort of thing. For all I know, gooses and herons may get together all of the time, maybe at a moose lodge. Gooses at the moose's?

Eventually, the gooses moved on, as did the heron. I finished up what turned out to be a special visit to one of the very special places here in Union County. As I was leaving the picnic grounds, I nodded in the direction of a statue of Mr. Lincoln which stands at the grounds. I'm guessing he would have appreciated what had happened.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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