Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Of Goslings and Mosquitos

We spent most of the spring making disparaging remarks over Goose Helen's lack of maternal instinct; but then one mid-May day I arrived at the farm to Goose James honking and hissing as I tried to come near the hen house (the hen house that he'd driven all the hens from) and Helen sitting on a clutch of large eggs.

For a month she patiently sat. For a month James patrolled and stood guard. And then, last Thursday evening, when I'd run over to quickly check on our goats, I noticed that both James and Helen had abandoned their posts. I raised an eyebrow, shook my head (assuming they'd abandoned their duty), and went about filling the goats' buckets with water. 

But then I saw this (!!!):

I immediately texted the family the exciting--and, as Mike pointed out, terrifying--news of more geese on the farm.

Our excitement was slightly dampened the next day when we discovered that there had been two other little goslings whose lives had been cut very short by some cruel critter 😭. We set a raccoon trap that evening (though we've had no luck catching any yet) and ordered a door that can automatically close on the coop at night. And, every day since, we've arrived at the farm in a state of slight anxiety, and then breathed a sigh of relief when someone has called out, "The goslings are still here!"

They really are darling to watch as they stick their little nub wings out and run in a quick little waddle behind Helen. It's very dear.

And, in other farm news, I have a little bird app I use when I'm trying to identify unfamiliar bird calls. Look how many birds it identified in one minute and nineteen seconds at the farm Friday evening (while I waited for Mike to set up the raccoon trap!):

There was just chirping everywhere!

I love all the birds up here. And I can never get over how many I never saw living just 45 minutes south! Sandhill Cranes, Killdeer, Red-winged Blackbirds, and just in the past week or two I've begun seeing the flocks of white-faced ibis that I fell in love with last year (and could not identify for the longest time because, well, for one thing, their faces don't look even remotely white).

And that is all. Except (lest I've overly romanticized this rural living): I currently have 30 mosquito bites on my right foot (30!), a smattering on my left, and about ten on each arm, and I scratch myself bloody several times a day. So. There's that side of things.

And now to really end: matching the little girls during an after-church animal check at the farm (lovely expressions Mette and Summer), and a few photos of kids walking goats ... or rather ... trying to walk goats:

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