May 8, 2015
Last fall, my friends, Jet and Julia, flew south with their two grown goslings.
In late January, they returned with those same goslings, plus one, in tow.
The beginning of March marked the end of childhood for the goslings. Jet and Julia asserted their authority and kicked them all out. It took a few weeks to get their point across, but eventually, they had the place to themselves. On April 17th, I looked out and saw a solitary goose.
I knew what that meant.
Sure enough! There on goose egg island, in the same spot and position as last year, sat my friend, Julia.
Day and night, through snow and sleet, without food or water, she sat. On the seventh day, I heard a commotion.
I took the opportunity to photograph the empty nest, from a respectable distance.
How many eggs are under that fluffy down? I wondered.
She sat some more, after just a short hour’s respite– same spot, same position, five more days. Females do not eat or drink during incubation.
The surrounding plants grew. . .
After 22 days, I noticed a change in Jet. He now appeared to be imitating Julia. Why? I wondered.
Goslings begin communicating with their parents while still in the shell. He had got the word.
Prepare for delivery, this egg is cramped!
He was preparing his muscles for the birth of his babies. As they were born, he kept them close.
He crouched his neck to hide from prying predators.
Once they all hatched, Julia came off the nest– one proud skinny Mama.
Can you tell which is Julia?
Look at the necks. What a shock to go from 26 days of statuesque isolation to busy mother of three.
How good life must feel to Julia– eating and drinking once again,
with flowers in the treetops,
and a healthy brood of goslings and loyal mate following behind.
As the sun sinks, all is well in the pond at the bottom of the hill.
Have a great weekend! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mother’s out there.