Mama’s munchkins.

As Mother’s Day nears, I am always happy to discover at least one pair of Canada Geese and their brand-new goslings to spotlight for Mother’s Day weekend. I’ve generally been pretty lucky to get a few shots for that special event.

Throughout April, in my everyday jaunts to Council Point Park, I diligently peered along the banks of the Ecorse Creek for swan and/or goose nests to no avail. I’ve always wanted a picture of Mama Goose sitting on a nest; maybe I need to add that sought-after shot to my “Birdie Bucket List” for down the road.

As you know from Sunday’s post, I glimpsed the first family of geese on Tuesday, April 28th, but had not toted the camera with me. The family was paddling in the Ecorse Creek and the fuzzy little darlings had formed a neat row behind one parent, likely Mom, with the other parent bringing up the rear to keep any stragglers in check. Geese are no slackers – the same day goslings hatch, their parents lead them to the water for their first swim. Those goslings were the smallest I’ve ever seen make their debut.

Generally, we walkers have our first gosling sighting of the year in a somewhat secluded area near the twisted tree. This is likely because this spot has easy access to the Creek if the family needs to make a quick getaway due to a predator. As the goslings get older, the families gravitate to the grassier areas of the Park where the whole family engages in non-stop grazing for another six weeks, before departing for the Summer.

After two days of rain and mothballing my camera during my Park outings for a month, I was anxious to return to the Park to get those coveted gosling shots for a Mother’s Day weekend post. Thankfully I did so, as it was the last day we could access Council Point Park for a while. I will wonder daily about the status of all the critters there – life will, of course, go on for them regardless of the pause we must take from the Park, but I am sure they wonder where their benefactors are?

Mama and Papa and their brood.

A week ago Friday, a walker pointed me in the right direction and I high-tailed it over to the twisted tree. There they were, a half-dozen goslings toddling after their parents. These wee ones, with their sturdy legs and big feet, run very quickly, and, after a flurry of shots, in past years, I often get home with images of gosling butts, beaks or just bodies, as they have run right out of the picture frame before I snapped the shot. 🙂 Their parents take it slow and easy on the Park grounds, leisurely nibbling on grass and meandering along. The only time they move quickly is for territorial fighting or defending their young ‘uns, should anyone, or anything, stray overly close to their babies. I’ve learned over the years to steer clear of the gander, as he vigilantly protects his family and is apt to hiss with his bright-pink tongue as he flaps his wings warning us to stay away. I will veer off the path every time, even if the grass is soggy, to avoid goose histrionics and/or getting myself goosed by the gander!

I admired the family …

… but didn’t have much time to take pictures as they were clearly on the move. Mama Goose had announced it was time for more swimming lessons, so, one by one, the family members waddled down to the water’s edge. Years ago, you could hear the goslings plop into the Creek, but the water level has risen so high the past few years, now they simply walk right into the water.

I got this photo as they paddled swiftly, churning up the water, but then the budding bushes got in the way, so I had to run down to an area that was more open to watch them.

The swimming lessons didn’t last too long. The family simply crossed to the opposite side of the Creek, with the goslings obediently following along behind a parent to explore a new site to graze and run around some more.

I turned my attention back to my walk and Parker, who alerted me with an accusatory stare, that he was there and ready to receive peanuts and I’d ogled the goslings long enough.

Well, it looks like I really lucked out – there was a second family!

As I took a picture of Parker’s shameless begging, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a second family of Canada Geese lurking in the bushes. Perhaps “lurking” is not the best choice of words, but I caught sight of the parents and noticed one of the adults stretching its neck out in a back-and-forth motion, a sure sign of agitation, most likely with my presence. So I backed off a bit, as my glasses were fogged up from the mask so I couldn’t see 100% anyway and I certainly did not want to tangle with any geese.

After stepping back onto the path, the gander relaxed and joined its mate where they were poking around the ground cover and sparse grass.

Their six offspring seemed to mimic their parents as they flipped over crisp leaves or twigs, filling their black bills with tender grass shoots wherever they could uncover them. A couple of goslings were already making themselves heard with loud squeaks and peeps, just a preview of coming attractions.

I took a few photos, knowing that the shady area was not going to make for stellar shots, but that was okay too – the already-fuzzy goslings might just look a little fuzzier from my vantage point.

I had just settled in to take more pictures, when the agenda abruptly changed as one parent had commandeered the contingent of goslings to head down to the water. This was not as easy for them to navigate as the previous family, as they were not right at the shoreline. I watched from afar through the brush while, one by one, the goslings gingerly picked their way down the slope and were soon afloat, once again in a neat queue with one parent up front and a parent bringing up the rear before they quickly disappeared out of view.

I finished my walk on a real high, the euphoria of seeing and photographing two sets of Canada Geese and their goslings, a pair of American Black Ducks, a Great Blue Heron, a Downy Woodpecker, a Cardinal, a Blue Jay, a Cottontail Rabbit and finally a collection of squirrels, of the Gray, Black and Fox varieties. I narrowly missed grabbing the image of a Groundhog (hey, you win some – you lose some).

Hours later, however, my euphoria was dimmed by the downer of discovering Council Point Park would be closed for an undetermined amount of time. Hopefully it is open soon to enable me to get some photos of the families as they grow up. I went to Elizabeth Park on Sunday, my camera in tow, and got some more gosling shots, which I’ll share in an upcoming post.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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63 Responses to Mama’s munchkins.

  1. Sandra J says:

    You come up with the best words. I have not heard the word Munchkins in a long time and it fits the little ones. There is just something about watching the baby geese. No cares, just eat and swim and sleep and eat. What a life, it is just freeing to watch them “live”. Great photos Linda, after reading your post, I know the twisted tree so well. It adds to the story knowing familiar sittings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Good morning Sandra – I love that word munchkins too; it just reminds me of something cute and small. I hope to find more munchkins this morning, of the duckling variety, and maybe more goslings as well. It is fun to watch them – you are right – no cares, just eat until you need a nap, then eat some more. Glad you liked the photos. Yes, I mention the twisted tree a lot and am sorry I won’t be able to post any pictures of that area this year as there is a beautiful pink flowering tree that is near the twisted tree and a park bench. The parents always bring their goslings there – the tree is gorgeous and enhances the photo. Oh well – hopefully next year. We have a gray morning and a little foggy. I would like a sunnier day but we’re having rain, thunderstorms and maybe damp tomorrow morning, so I’ll go today.. Have a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        I have a question, you are good with this computer stuff. Someone asked me if I could make my post viewable in reader? I thought it was. On your end can you tell if it is in reader. I believe that is where I view all of other peoples post. Thank you Linda,

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It is viewable in Reader Sandra – I get your posts from Reader. My problem of my posts not going to Reader was because I would start a draft and set it for a date in the future, then do the draft and adjust the date to when I really wanted it. Someone advised to do that when I first used the block editor … that was what was tripping me up … when the Happiness Engineer showed me the directions what to do, I wondered why – then I read the directions carefully and realized I was not reverting to “draft mode”, then rescheduling. I did get a prompt that said “do you want to revert to drafts?” I just clicked it away as I was not changing content, just the publishing time. It was my misunderstanding, but … I had been doing that way since April 2019 so that was why I kept questioning things. It has been fine now and I am going to write and tell them … I wanted to ensure it was working properly. It could be because you self-host that is hanging up someone not receiving it? Hopefully not – I am having no problems at all. I would suggest maybe someone unfollows, then close out of their browser, then go to your site and re-follow again – maybe that will help?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Sandra J says:

        Thanks, I will tell them that. I see what they were talking about. If you click on a photo of mine, you have to leave reader and go to the site. But if you click on the view button it goes right to the site. I think that is what they are talking about. That helped Linda, thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Do you follow yourself Sandra –
        I do that and when I started having the problems with Reader, and no post showing up, I knew it was not only for me, but everyone else, because the only people who commented were those who follow by e-mail. I also discovered most of the other bloggers follow themselves so they know their posts are going to Reader. I always comment right on your site when I go all the way thru to read the rest of the post. I don’t go back to what you see in Reader where you comment. Though, when I comment, it flies off the screen at the speed of sound, so I always return to your site to ensure the comment posted. I always check that whenever I make a comment on anyone’s post … then I realize sometimes I said something that the SPAM filter thought was weird and it went to SPAM. I’ve got a ton of SPAM lately – the same message and all on different former posts … yesterday I had 25 of them, today about 10. I hope it clears up things and your posts go through. And also, they told me to clear my browser history and to use Firefox. They said it was the best for WordPress. So now I use Firefox just for posting, so I clear the browser history which is just the last post I did. That could be helping me out too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        Yes, I do that also just to check on the post. I did notice yesterday, if you click on someones post in reader, like just the picture. The post pops up and you can read it right there, it does not go to another tab. Where mine, if you click on the photo it takes you to my page site on another tab. I think that is what the person was talking about. Maybe that is what the paid sight does. I will have to look into that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        A fellow blogger has her site like yours – it is self-hosted, so you go one paragraph and click for the rest of the post. I didn’t follow myself right away and I did not “like” my About page. I did that a fellow blogger told me how to adjust my gravatar so people would see my actual blog site if I commented on something and they did not follow me already.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Joni says:

    I guess they truly are munchkins…..munching on grass. So cute and so nice you got to see two families.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I never thought of that … “munchkins munching” on grass. They are really cute and I was lucky I happened to notice the second family through the bushes. The parents kind of blended in and the goslings were on the ground.

      I saw more last Sunday at Elizabeth Park and today at Heritage Park. The family today only had two goslings – strange, they usually have 5-6, sometimes 7. They rest must not have hatched or something happened to the rest after they did hatch, hopefully not a predator at the park.

      I did a virtual 5K for a food pantry today. I have done the Fish and Loaves 5K the last few years and signed up … you could do the walk/run anywhere you wanted to so I chose Heritage Park where it usually is. I got some gosling pictures, hoped for duckling pictures as they have lots of ducks there – saw two ducks today and no ducklings. Usually I see 75-100 ducks on Coan Lake. We do not get the teeshirt and finishing medal until after the last person finishes (June 30th) so they are mailed out July 1st. Not sure if I will just wait and do the post then when I have the shirt/medal for the picture or post it now (sometime in the next few weeks). I took a lot of photos today – I need a week to sort out everything … usually I have a general idea what I’ve taken, but I went to two places last Sunday, all over the neighborhood and other neighborhoods over a couple of mornings and took a lot of photos today during my 5k walk. (Not to mention what I had before that.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It must have been a cold 5K walk!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It was Joni – as if it was not bad enough it was 31 degrees when I got there, but that wind made it really blustery on top of it. Not the best of days for walking but I figure as long as it’s not raining, I’ll go for it. It is supposed to rain overnight tonight and turn to snow showers. The weather is crazy – we had rain three times today.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Babies are uplifting! No matter what babies they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, those goslings grow up so quickly too. I saw more last Sunday and again today. Today I went to a venue where there are lots of ducks, hoping for duckling shots … only two ducks today. I have no idea where they all went. There was one family of geese, but this time only two goslings which was odd. Usually there are 5-6. But they were running all over the place – I think they were older. I have not looked at the photos, but I am sure I missed a few of them entirely out of the frame and there were swallows swooping all over the place, photobombing my shots. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Laurie says:

    How lucky for you that you got those goose family shots right before the park closed. I’m sure Parker is missing his friend that brings him treats. You did hit the jackpot that day – lots of critters found their way into your viewfinder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I am so happy I took my camera Laurie. I sure was lucky – there are times I can walk there and not see anything I’d take it out of my pocket and out of the case for. Hopefully the park re-opens before they are grown up, though we did have four families last year, all at different stages of growth. Yes, I am hoping he is okay – I’ve been going there for seven years and a couple of other walkers feed them too – I spoil them, but right now they can’t dig up peanuts as the ground is too frozen.

      Like

  5. You really lucked out with the geese this year. I enjoyed your narrative and the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne – I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have been to two more parks since that day, have some gosling photos, but not looked at them yet. I’m two days behind in Reader as I’ve been writing so much so more comments and got behind. Tomorrow is my Mother’s Day post I mentioned to you about the cologne.

      Happy Mother’s Day to you Anne!

      Like

  6. susieshy45 says:

    Much munchikins there- love them. I wish you could give them bird food and see if they liked them- just kidding of course.
    I am glad you got those mother, children shots for Mother’s day.
    Love,
    Susie
    PS : Course is over( May 6)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………………..I enjoyed the 2 families of the baby goslings………………..they are so cute………………..I feel your euphoria!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – It was such an enjoyable morning and I was ecstatic to have gotten the shots. They are so cute and they already have a little bit of attitude going because they had their beak open and that pink tongue flapping. Give them a little while and they will be just like Mr. Meany. Did the goslings hatch from the eggs you saw in the nest?

      Like

  8. Oh my gosh those babies are just adorably fuzzy!!!! You took some great pictures as usual Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The geese families are so cute and the little fuzzballs are darling! Your description of “goose histrionics” made me laugh out loud. Thanks Linda for the humor!
    You were really lucky to take pictures of 2 families. It’s always such a treat to find baby animals in nature. Thank you for sharing these pictures for Mother’s Day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Geese histrionics is about what happens sometimes … they once chased me down the perimeter path after I took some bread for them … other geese saw what was going on and wanted more. I showed them the empty bag but that didn’t work so well. They chased me and I dipped into a group of walkers and they lost me. I’ve been to two more parks and got a few more gosling shots to share in upcoming posts – these were special as it was the last date at the Park which remains closed.

      Like

  10. you had a full day and a lot fun by the sounds of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Sadly my last day at Council Point Park. I like documenting their growth … they grow 25 times their hatching size by the time they fledge six weeks + later. I saw more goslings at Elizabeth Park last Sunday and a few more yesterday at heritage Park. Yesterday only one family of goslings and only two which was odd – usually 5-6 goslings for a family. I was able to get pretty close to them but not looked at the photos yet.

      Like

      • I find it interesting that they are closing things down while people with automatic weapons descend upon the Capital to reopen!
        Something bad is going to happen and yes its all because of Trump!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It is interesting – people should be scared to death. Today they said we are flattening the curve – we now have half the deaths and cases we had just a few weeks ago. As of today, 4,551 deaths, 47,138 cases.
        So, given those stats, why would you storm the Capitol and say you want the ability to work, go back to normal. There will not be a normal as we know it for a very long time. They said people will likely never shake hands again.

        Like

      • the biggest problem we all have is the affects of fear

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It will be worse once the Big Three opens up next Monday – the manufacturing plants for auto parts opened today … the Governor said in a press conference she gave today – now we wait to see if we peak again since more companies are opening up again. You’ll have to take a look at Twitter for today’s presidential press conference,
        https://twitter.com/search?q=%23TrumpMeltdown&src=trend_click

        We have 82,000 deaths and expected to reach 137,000 by August 1st … makes me feel sick.

        Like

      • I couldn’t see what he said or had done Linda but I did read some peoples reactions.
        He constantly keeps lowering the bar! He must be half way to China (Ghina)!

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Oh that’s too bad – there was a press conference and he was asked questions by two women reporters and he went off on them – bigtime. He then stalked out of the press conference and took no further questions. He also disparaged the Oriental reporter making a reference to China – she asked if he directed his comment to her specifically.

        Like

  11. Michael says:

    They’re locking down now? Virus related? Seems lots is opening up over there ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They locked down all our parks a week ago Friday. The Mayor did this separate from the Governor because my city had an inordinate amount of cases and deaths. Michigan is the 10th most populous state in the U.S. and we were 3rd highest for deaths and cases. It is finally starting to get a little better. The Governor put us on lockdown on March 23rd and just extended it to May 28th but she is okay with going to parks, even encourages it. I heard your PM say today that industry should open up – same here, little bit this week and the automobile factories all go back on the 18th. You can work at home since you’re in IT right?

      Like

      • Michael says:

        Yeah I’ll be home now…probably all year. If not longer. not sure ill ever truly return to 9-5 in the office.

        Were all very confused here as to whether were open or not tbh…our PM is a fool at best and a murderous fool at worst…i guess we wait and see how folk interpret the message.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I think your leader is exactly like ours – you would think since your PM was on death’s door those few days in the ICU with COVID-19 he might be more mindful about people’s fears about returning to a traditional workplace, but no … the economy must go on. They say that in the U.S., we could have 137,000 deaths by August 4th. Where they get that number I have no clue – how can they speculate that far ahead. Here in Michigan some manufacturing starts today, so they expect the stats to rise quickly.

        Like

  12. Eliza says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. Just not the park closure. I know you mentioned it already. I’m glad you had this visit with them…
    💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Ellie – I am so glad I went that day and finally took the camera. I hope they change their mind soon … I miss going there. Those goslings were so sweet … by the time I get back they’ll be teenagers and I won’t recognize them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. J P says:

    Very fortuitous, to catch two separate families of geese on their family cruises.

    When everyone finally settles down into research mode, I wonder what percentage of COVID infections will have come from people walking through a sparsely attended public park. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that it will be a really small number.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, especially since it was my last day before this park closed – by the time the park opens again (presuming it opens again) they will be grown up. I’ve visited a few other parks since then and gotten more images of goslings. The larger parks have only closed their playground equipment. Like you, I think the chances are slim to get COVID by a walk in the park. All our Metroparks are very large but beginning tomorrow will be instituting a policy of 60% capacity in the parking lots and once that limit is reached they will close the park temporarily. They are also opening their bathroom facilities (I think that is a mistake – too soon, extra work for keeping sanitized and COVID germ free) and the interpretive walks will begin again in the next week. I buy an annual pass, but a day pass is $10.00 – they have waived that fee Tuesday through Thursday since mid-March, but effective tomorrow will be charging again. I read a scary article yesterday on the Accuweather site about turning on your home air conditioner and potentially bringing virus germs into your home. If that does not make you feel uneasy ….

      Liked by 1 person

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