"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 WaterWe 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.
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Carmi's Theme ~ "family"
World Bird Wednesday