Thank goodness the month of May is in the rear view mirror, though June didn’t begin all that great either. I had some computer issues at work Wednesday and Thursday thanks to Comcast (I was blacklisted at the work site and could not gain access to my desktop). Compounding the problem, was the fact that my boss was going out of town for a week, necessitating a mad scramble on Friday to get all my work and our June invoices done before his departure. Saturday, June 1st dawned hot and humid, and the spike in the heat made conditions perfect for a volatile storm. Here in SE Michigan, we had two severe storms yesterday, the first at 3:00 p.m. caused my power to go out for almost four hours. When I finally hopped online to try to catch up with what was going on in the outside world (and here at WordPress), storm #2 began slowly rumbling and making its presence known. I stayed online a while watching Tweets from the weather bureau and local meteorologists about the storm’s approach to our area. Finally I just shut the computer off and went to bed. I did get out to walk today, but didn’t take any pictures. The photos in this blog post are from Friday and Saturday.
There was some serious goose-steppin’ going on.
I like walking in the morning because it is peaceful and quiet at the Park and there are more critters out and about. The geese and their goslings are no exception. I love seeing the goslings following after their parents, toddling along, whether it is to the next patch of grass to graze in, across the perimeter path or down the embankment to the Ecorse Creek.
The grass is very long at Council Point Park right now. Normally, the grass-cutting service arrives every Monday morning, right around the time I am ready to leave for home. But, the cutters are way off schedule due to the incessant rain and stormy weather. They haven’t been around in awhile and meanwhile the grass has gone to seed as have the dandelions. The goslings, just like their parents, have been gorging themselves on the tender long grass and a few times I saw the goslings just laying down and nibbling on the grass rather than standing up to graze. I was hard pressed to take a picture when the geese weren’t grazing or preening themselves, thus I ended up with a ton of photos from the last few days. I sifted through about 150 pictures that I took over Friday and Saturday … admittedly I had a tough time winnowing down the photos for this post. I tried to ensure they did not all look alike and to capture some of their antics as well.
Wait until you see how much our fuzzy babies have grown … but wait! Now there is a fourth family and those goslings are still at the yellow, cute-and-fuzzy-ball-of-fluff stage. I discovered the fourth family on Friday, and, in the six years that I’ve been walking at this venue, usually the three or four families of geese spread out around the Park, and do not necessarily congregate together. But, on the two days, when these pictures were taken, all four families were hanging out together – it was a geese and gosling convention! I tried to get a shot of the entire group, but it was impossible.
I took some photos of the geese and their offspring along the perimeter path and these shots will give you an idea of the stages of growth. Note in the larger goslings how their adult plumage colors and feathers have started to emerge, mostly on their backs and tail feathers. It was warm yesterday and many of the goslings, just plopped down, some in the middle of the path, some along the edge. At a glance, you may think the goslings all look alike, but they are various colors and sizes.
Of course, we walkers always have to do a detour around the goslings, or their parents will hiss or flap their wings until we humans obey and follow the proper protocol! It’s no big deal to walk around them and on the grass, but sometimes walkers don’t do that thus raising the hackles of the parents.
Yesterday morning, since it was a weekend, I could take my time watching the families and taking pictures, whereas on Friday, I had one eye on the goslings and the other eye on my watch, since it was a work day. I was a respectable distance away, so as not to anger the gander who stands like a sentry guarding his family (except for when he is bending that slender neck to the ground to grab up grass with that long beak). So I was immersed in the beauty of the geese gathering, when all of a sudden, a person walking a big black dog came along and the families all scattered down to the Creek and into the water post haste. This was one family and some stragglers headed for safety.
Actually, dogs are not permitted in this Park, but that law is not enforced. The appearance of the pooch on the perimeter path caused the gaggle to head to a part of the Creek where the brush and high reeds make it difficult to get a clear view of the water, but I did my best to take pictures anyway.
Down at the ol’ swimmin’ hole.
Once again, capturing the images of a contingent of four geese families was a challenge, so I had to limit myself to just a few parents and/or offspring at a time. And, I want to mention, that often geese are very loud – they honk as they descend from the sky to the grassy areas, or when they splash down on the water … even when they are conversing with one another in the Park. But these last two days, they were very quiet, whether grazing (yup, I guess their mouths are full) or swimming along in the water. The peace and tranquility of them swimming was amazing to me – no one made a peep, as they followed the leaders.
Here are some pictures of the geese and goslings in the water.
I suspect there will be a few more geese family posts, but I have taken a lot of other Park critter pictures recently and will be sharing them in the coming week.