And we are back once again. Figured I’d make the best of it as I sit her nursing a pretty banged up left leg. Not entirely sure what is going on, either my karma got screwed up somehow, just a series of unfortunate events, something is wrong with my running cadence or I’m going blind. Any of those are in play at the moment pending further study. A week ago I took a “snowboard” fall on the trail. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of learning how to snowboard, front edge falls are both instantaneous and brutal. Clipped my foot on a root that was hiding in the weeds alongside the trail. You learn quickly that you get your ass off the ground and keep running before your body has a chance to have second thoughts. 6 miles further and a night of rest resulted in a softball size bruise on my shin. Flash forward to this morning at the farthest extent of a 13 mile trail run where my left foot clipped a rock strategically positioned to maximize pain. That left blood on the trail and a rather intriguing 6 miles back to the car. 2 minutes before that I was in fluffy trail dust, but nooooo, can’t go down there, I have to pick the section covered in sharp rocks. Now sitting here speculating how long the gashes will take to heal and what new colors of the rainbow will be added to my already banged up leg. Bright side, my ribs seem to have survived the impacts, so we’ll be back on the trails before the week is up.
While I mend, let’s feature some Goose play.
I saw these two while doing a little birding at Chain O’ Lakes back in April 2017. Guessing there was not a lot of targets in the area as I tend to take a few shots of these Geese and continue on. There is no shortage of Canada Geese in the area. Just did a quick check of their region and if the range maps are correct, these distinctive Geese or abundant in North America as a whole. They do come up short in the Central America region, very odd gap in eastern California and what looks like just east of the Rockies in Canada. Probably got wind of the mass exodus out of California, but unaware of the no-go zone in Canada.
Hit the jump to see what these two were up to.
Initially thought these two might be fighting for territory or perhaps the TV remote. The one on the left would puff out and meander up to the other. The other would return the display before heading off in a different direction. Rinse and repeat that several times before it became very apparent what all the posturing was about. The Intrigued lawyers asked us to keep the reveal pictures out, so jumping ahead to June 2017.
A few months later at Chain we came upon this sight. No way to tell if these are the same pair or not – either way, the behavior experienced above results in Santa having to load up the sleigh with more presents. The new additions above are a bit older and fit the juvi stage. According to Cornell, the offspring will remain with the parents for up to a year.
Now let’s jump forward another year to June 2019. Same Chain O’ Lakes State Park, however, this time we spotted you8nger editions.
As much as I’ve tired of adult Canada Geese over the years, I never get bored with their baby goslings. Talk about super cute and full of character, these yellow and dark floaters will make you take back all the bad things you said about their adults and their propensity to hit every square inch of a park with their poop – actually, I’ll take that back, Canada’s are shit machines and that is all there is to it. We can still enjoy them as babies.
Mom and Dad were taking the time to teach them the way of the Goose. Each gosling content to explore their surroundings from the safety of their parent’s watch. For the most part they keep together within a few feet of their parents who are ever-watchful for anything that dares mess with even a single yellow feather.
The mother spotted me on the banks with the Beast pointed towards them. That she wasn’t too keen on and reigned in their leashes with a warning honk. Seemed more of a token alarm as she continued to let the goslings explore the pond at the closer distance.
The father decided to cover one of their exposed flanks. Have to hand it to these Geese, they are protective. Oh, just learned they also mate for life and unlike a lot of their feathered cousins stick together during the course of the year. While I was at it, also researched the number of offspring they typically have. Per Cornell, one brood a year ranging from 2-8 goslings per brood. That last fact caught me off guard as I’ve seen family groups that far exceeds that number.
Reading on, learned the answer to my question – they can form gang broods where multiple broods bond together accompanied by at least one male. I envision these gang broods putting on white and black face paint and carrying baseball bats around (a reference to one of my favorite movies of all time). Soon the parents had successfully navigated their jewels away from the evil looking dude staring at them from the bank. Hopefully they all made it to adulthood and are busy taking care of their own .. in roughly 4 years/
Jumping back in the T.A.R.D.I.S for one more shot courtesy of the 2017 outing.
Those little wings bring a smile every time I see them. Much like the Sandhill Crane colts, the Goose gosling has to grow into their wings which on average is in the 60 inch span range. Someday little one, you’ll be putting fear into the other birds on the pond – but right now, thanks for the smile.
Ooooohhhh, think I’m getting a new shade of purple on the leg! I’ll call it a post there. Hope you enjoyed a few shots of the Canada as they tend to get overlooked on most of our outings. By the way, if you want to annoy your bird guide keep referring to them as Canadian Geese – they love that hehehe.