Saturday, August 24, 2013

"My" Geese and the Little Goose Girl

The Canadian geese are back and in large numbers.  In the spring we had 10 to 12 that arrived in the morning and feasted on the lawn for a while. Then they disappeared for about a month. They were nesting somewhere.  (There are two small ponds not far away and I think they nest there.) Then one day this Mama Goose was in the yard with five goslings (one independent gosling was out of picture range). I didn't see them arrive or leave but I assume they walked. Clearly the goslings don't have feathers enough to fly. 

In the past two weeks we've suddenly had 30 and more geese in the yard, often in the morning for breakfast then they they go away and come back in the afternoon. The lawn usually has many small, light feathers floating about after they leave. So it seems clear many of the new flock  are this year's chicks, now with feathers but still shedding some of the fluffy chest feathers. They are picturesque but they leave deposits of poop all over the lawn. I tell visitors to "beware the land mines." 

Some residents don't like them. One woman has been out two afternoons this week shoo-ing them  away. The first day she  got them all into the parking lot and went inside. About two minutes later I saw them, almost in formation, march back onto the lawn like an army invading with great determination. Soon the woman  was back with a broom. This time she herded them to the road -- actually stopped traffic, as she  got them into the lawn across the way (which is not residential but commerical). They stayed. But they were back the next afternoon and so was she with her broom.

The first contingent have just arrived this afternoon.  I'll watch for their fate. I thought of the Grimm tale of the "Little Goose Girl" but couldn't remember anything except the title. So I have just looked it up.  This is the link for anyone who wants to be reminded in the last few lines just how aptly names those two tale collecting brothers are. 

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