Freezeout Lake, Fairfield, Montana.
Seventy-thousand of them, and it looked like we’d get skunked and not see a single one. We’d arrived later than we wanted because of the dense fog that was blanketing central Montana. We parked at a spot on the north end of the lake, and glassed the area: lot of ducks and tundra swans, but no snow geese. We wandered around a bit more, ate our sandwiches, and ended up at a field at the south end of the lake, where we finally saw a few coming in for a landing:
More and more came:
until the field was covered. Thousands and thousands of them.
We watched for an hour, and then decided to move to a spot on the other side of the flock so that we’d be in a better location when they all decided to take off for the lake. We found a hidden dip in a shelter belt of trees. After another half hour, the geese decided it was time to go.
I ended up just putting the camera down and reveling in this incredible moment. I’m not a good enough photographer to do it justice. But it was one of those moments when time stands still…those experiences that remain crystal clear, with or without the photographs.