(It’s a work in progress and certainly not the Mother Goose story you grew up with.)
Mama and Papa Goose swim … the goslings swim.
Mama and Papa Goose graze … the goslings graze too.
But, what happens when Mama and Papa Goose fight with each another? Whose side do ya take?
The narrative and photos in this post originate from the Fish & Loaves Virtual 5K that I participated in on May 9th and was the subject of yesterday’s blog post. During that trek, you may recall I saw a pair of Canada Geese at the Sawmill at Heritage Park.
Initially, when I took that picture, I failed to see their two goslings that were nearby in the water. Perhaps the parents felt threatened by my presence (though I was certainly not THAT close to them), as Mama and Papa Goose decided it was time to vamoose!
I watched as the parents slid into the water next to their offspring and began the journey across Coan Lake. Right away I noticed they had only two goslings, not the usual five or six. I felt a little sad wondering what happened to the rest of the clan?
Aren’t they sweet?
These geese and goslings had some powerful paddling prowess and crossed Coan Lake in a matter of minutes.
I decided to hightail it back near the covered bridge to be the official Welcoming Committee.
Mama Goose scoped me out to ensure I was not a threat to the family since I kept turning up like a bad penny.
Of course they had to have a bite to eat … all that swimming made them hungry.
Mama Goose, still skeptical of why I was there, watched me out of the corner of her eye while grazing.
When you’re still a wee one, of course your eyes get heavy with a tummyful of grass and while basking in the sunshine … sometimes you just have to take a load off your feet.
With geese, I notice they are always aware of their surroundings, swiveling their heads on their slender necks to ensure they and/or their brood are safe from land predators, or even human predators like me. But, it is also important to beware of strange non-waterfowl creatures that lurk at the water’s edge.
See how Mama checks out this Tree Swallow …
… who suddenly felt threatened and moved down the seawall. The gosling, mimicking its mother, craned its neck backward to scope out the Big Bad Tree Swallow.
The other gosling was too engrossed in eating to be bird watching. Look at those big feet!
Domestic bliss; then in a heartbeat … Mama and Papa go ballistic!
After their quick snack, I watched Mama and Papa Goose herd their small brood back to the water’s edge. Mama was in the lead, the two goslings toddling behind her. Those little chicks walked down the small ramp that the Mallards use to ease themselves into Coan Lake. Papa followed close behind.
A Fox squirrel appeared at my side, looking up at me and since I always carry peanuts in my pocket, I was happy to oblige him. In that few seconds that I reached for peanuts and bent down to give them to my furry pal, I almost missed all the action.
Suddenly I heard honking and splashing noises, then noticed a blur of brown wings flapping and water churning. Wow – a little goose drama is always good for a few shots in a blog post. I looked closely while wondering “so, was it an intruder trying to hurt Mama and/or her babies?”
Watching through the camera window, I was amazed to discover it was Mama and Papa who were having the spat. (In front of the kids no less!) It is not the first time I’ve seen what appeared to be mates fighting like this. It usually starts out as a honk or a hiss and soon, there goes the marital bliss!
Papa Goose was flailing about, his feathers obviously ruffled about something and Mama Goose was no slouch in this squabble either. She matched every hiss and honk by Papa Goose in kind. I wasn’t quick enough to get both of their bodies in one shot as they squared off like a couple of cowboy gunslingers, hissing wildly, eyes bugged out and necks stretched low to the surface of the water.
In the below photo you see just how aggressive Mama was with her mate! Meanwhile, the goslings were off to the side, their eyes glued to the scene like they were watching a pay-per-view fight night event. Yikes!
But I had a little smile when the fight was over and Mama, still a tad riled up, was joined by her goslings. Please notice the gosling on the left hissing at Papa. Yep, he’s a go-getter that one. 🙂
Soon Papa Goose joined the trio albeit a tad sulky and standoffish for now.
A mere moment later, all apparent grievances were resolved and everyone seemed happy for the time being and paddling around like nothing had happened.
Hmm – humans take note how easy that resolution was.
Postscript – A few minutes later the family climbed up on land again, Papa Goose was still lagging a little behind (perhaps not quite welcomed back into the fold of the family just yet). So, there I stood, the annoying women with the camera, who was ready to air their dirty laundry to the rest of the world. Mama Goose glared at me, so I got the heck out of Dodge before I was next to bear the brunt of her anger!
I’ll leave you with this quote:
The universe is wider than our views of it. ~ Henry David Thoreau