Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family of Another Nature

A small family of Canada geese out for a swim. (Virginia Beach) Posted by Picasa

"Everywhere water is a thing of beauty, gleaming in the dewdrops; singing in the summer rain; shining in the ice-gems till the leaves all seem to turn to living jewels; spreading a golden veil over the setting sun; or a white gauze around the midnight moon." ~ John Ballantine Gough, A Glass of Water
We have a huge population of Canada geese, many of whom refuse to migrate south in the winter or north in the spring. It is often funny to see them in their migration "V" flying northwest in the fall. I often want to yell up at them, "Hey, guys, that is the WRONG WAY!"; but then they glide gracefully in a downward spiraling arch and land in the large pond behind the neighbor's house. Oh... just moving from one pond to another, I see.

I do believe that these (probably considered "native" by now) geese are the first to have families in the spring. Ours have developed a great community plan; the young goslings are shipped off to boarding school, at least for the daytime hours. Approximately ten to sixteen little fluff balls are shepherded by three or four adults and the day is full of lessons to be learned. They are taught to swim... in a long line with one adult at the head and one bringing up the rear and at least one to the side, to catch any strays. More importantly, they are taught to cross the road. I do believe that the first step is... start slowly but resolutely, the cars will stop; though the second must be...don't try this at night. More than once this spring, I had to come to a complete stop as the goose grade school practiced their crossing (as we all know, practice makes perfect). One adult stood on the destination golf course grass gathering the goslings around that had already navigated the street. One waited on the median to make sure everyone was in a line and on the march and a third was the traffic guard, standing right in the middle of the road. The babies hopped (fell) off the curb into the road and started their trek across. One was mesmerized by a rock in the road and stopped to investigate, causing a pile up behind. Adult guard quacked... baby ignored... adult walked over, bent his neck down and honked and nudged the little one along, flapping his wings as he chased the baby to the other side. This seemed to bring all the others back into order and the rest knew better than to cross this crossing guard again. The biggest obstacle is the curb on the far side as, yet unable to fly, they must jump their height to get back up to the grass. Many took several attempts before success. I have always wonder if these "teachers" send their pupils back to their parents at the end of the day.

This family was seen swimming in one of the inlets along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach. It was late May and most of the other resident goslings had almost grown to the size of their parents. Perhaps, this family actually migrated from the south or maybe the later goslings don't get to go to kindergarten and are home schooled instead. I wonder.

(end of post)
Carmi's Theme ~ "family"
World Bird Wednesday

Watery Wednesday


Sandra Hangey said...

guess what? this morning driving to Staples i saw 10 of these sweeties walking around in the grass, no where near a pond, and on a busy street. they must have forgotten to fly North. I assume they were eating bugs, since they were wandering and dipping there beaks into the grass. we don't have goose crossings here, but we do have duck crossings in all the neighborhoods around us, with big signs warning us to be careful sometime the traffic in front of our house stops and i get up to see if there is an accident and there the little family trailing along crossing the road at zero miles per hour. 

Texwisgirl said...

oh, that is so beautiful!

Andrew said...

A lovely family scene...thanks for sharing.

Ginny Hartzler said...

What a charming and cute story, which I enjoyed even better than the picture! We have the same problem with the Canada Geese. They just stay here all year, and by now their babies are grown!

Boom & Gary said...

Nice captures!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

kim standard said...

I love the way geese are families, orderly.

chubskulit said...

Beautiful shot! 

Late Visiting for WW, here's my Watery Wednesday.  Drop by when you can, thanks!

holdingmoments said...

Excellent observations of these geese. I love watching the large families over here; and they are just as you describe ;-)

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

"Picture perfect," as they say!



Mist on the ocean,

Mist on the sea,

Mist on the meadow,

Mist on the tree;


Dew on the grasses,

Dew on the rose,

Dew in the garden,

Dew on my clothes;


All of this wetness,

It’s plain to see,

Promises blessings

For you and me!


© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher


Beach, Makaha, Hawaii

Sandra Hangey said...

me thinks you do NOT like squirrels. we have love hate relationship with ours. this one lives at
the nursing home and is a pet to the residents, they feed them from their wheel
chairs and in return he eats all the flowers out of the planter.

Credman said...

Are the geese overpopulating here? I see them in hoards everywhere and not so many ducks these days.


Brilliant piece! Love the title, Poem, and mostly your impressions of goslings enduring pre-school. ;-)WBW 

Kenju said...

We have thousands of them here in Raleigh - all year long. They are cute to watch, though, when there are babies.

sewa mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Sandra Hangey said...

here is the link to what will lay eggs on the passion vine.

Ramblingwoods said...

Wow..only two they are going to do another round up and feed the poor goose killing for the now resident geese..I guess we can feel better if we are feeling the poor with them...?