Of Geese and Goslings

Me Loves Our Geese

You have no idea how much I love the geese who live on our pond. It’s crazy! Every year the same core group come back in the spring, no matter the weather, nor how freezing it is… no matter what.

Every year, I eagerly wait to see if any babies arrive. They don’t always – it must be part of nature’s checks and balances. Three years ago, a pair had 4 adorable little ones… I was in love! Then, I went away for a few days in May – we had a cold snap, a snowstorm, sub-freezing temps. (It’s been known to snow on 4th of July on rare occasions around here!). I came back and… no more babies. I was crushed. Morose for weeks. Even the geese seemed depressed for quite awhile after that.

The next year – nothing. Sigh.
Last year – one precious baby. We named him/her Junior (how creative!) – and I documented his/her growth into adulthood.  He/she grew up with a entire flock of aunties and uncles watching out for him/her and eventually the whole gang flew away for the winter.

This year they’re back and… its Gosling-palooza out on the pond!! A veritable nursery out there. A dozen new babies… one family of 5, one of 6 – and a pair with just a single gosling to call their own.
OMG, they make me nuts… this is just one example why:


Misconceptions & Lessons

A lot of folks imagine geese are just mindless critters who crap all over the place. Of course, I can’t deny the dung… but they’re anything but mindless. I’ve watched them every year now for the 5 years we’ve lived by our little lake – and I’ve seen how they take care of one another. As for parenting – well, they’re better than most humans anymore, it seems. They’re conscientious, diligent, protective, selfless parents. The chicks are silly, playful – and make the most soothing cheeping sound as they swim around.

In fact, there’s a much talked-about piece called “Lessons from the Geese”. That link takes you to a PDF written by Dr. Robert McNeish about the uniquely awesome way that geese work together – and what we can learn from them. Very likely you’ve seen it – but it always bears a revisit, IMHO.

For now though, I’m just going to leave you with some of the photos I took last night. I just couldn’t stop smiling – or snapping!

(you think this is a bunch… I put the rest on my website! Yeah, I’m crackers.)