Sunday, January 25, 2015

Of geese and goslings

Last summer I enjoyed the company of geese. The Canada geese and, sometimes, Brent geese, would come to the lake and spend their days enjoying the peace on our science park.

One afternoon I decided to share my lunch with the Canada geese and the ducks. They enjoyed it with gusto, so I brought in proper bird food - seeds and grain - which they also partook of very happily.

The Canada geese had their youngsters with them, and I very quickly got to know one family rather well. 'Hissy Momma' was a very assertive goose who would let her goslings come and eat from my provisions, whilst hissing loudly at every other goose, duck or passer by who dared even suggest that they may interrupt her youngsters repast. She would race after other geese, chasing them into the water and snapping at their tails - every other goose on the lake was terrified of her. She was partnered by 'Pop' who, though as big as his wife (and I am assuming gender here, I must admit), would just stand guard and watch me and the kids, whilst Momma was chasing away all others.

I named a few of them - my favourite being the littlest, Ranzo. After him I liked Brutus - he was the boldest of the goslings. Brutus and Ranzo eventually let me stroke them - yes, wild geese! Hissy Momma of course announced her disaproval, but as long I was dishing out the grub (which she sometimes stopped hissing enough to eat herself), she would accept my presence. If I had offered even a hint of threat, I am sure I would have been in serious trouble with her!
Hissy Mommna

The others would take food from my hand, and I would always approach and talk to them so they got to know my voice. This probably had two outcomes - firstly potentially none whatsoever because who knows if geese would recognise my voice and secondly, my colleagues and other passers by probably thought I was nuts.

Either way, I felt privileged to have those geese as company - even if just for a season. Good luck this summer my friends, I am sure Ranzo and the gang will be bringing their own brood back to the lake again this year.

Hesitant Brent Goose

All photos my own copyright. No downloading or use without express permission.

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