Speaking of waterfowl, some of the geese, ducks and coots of Echo Park Lake had quite a feast today. First there was a picnic of families (my daughter and myself included) celebrating Rosh Hashanah at the lake. One Rosh Hashanah tradition, Tashlikh, is to throw pebbles or bread crumbs into a body of water, a symbolic tossing away of worries and woes. Today we tossed quite a bit of bread into the lake -- fortunately, it's not ducklings season as the feeding frenzy that accompanies treat tossings into the lake often leads to duckling fatalities. As one parent pointed out, the geese were gobbling up a lot of woe. But they looked happy, worried only that they might not get enough of the bread. One of today's geese, I'm happy to report, was our Ross's Goose, one-of-a-kind (at EP Lake), who makes Echo Park his permanent home.
A child in our group accidently tossed herself into the lake. She got out as quickly as anyone knew she'd gone in, and I'll be crossing my fingers that the filthy lake water does not make her sick. (Tossing away one's woes does not protect against the acquisition of new ones.) One of the features I'm hoping for with the pending lake draining and renovation is a natural lake bank, a soft edge with no drop, planted with reeds and other plants.
So, except for the accidental baptism, we had a beautiful picnic in the shade of some of the lovely old trees near the boathouse. Shortly after the church across the street rang the bells for 2 o'clock, a group of about 40 congregants from Temple Knesset arrived at the lake for Tashlikh at the boathouse. Our own party was leaving. The geese moved down-lake to enjoy a second Happy New Year 5769 observation.