About a month ago, I happened across a downy Canada Goose nest faithfully tended by the mother-to-be. It falls to the female to sit on the nest for the 25 to 28 days it takes their one yearly clutch of two to eight eggs to develop.
While the science behind the formation of eggs, and the number of days each bird species incubates them can be studied and understood intellectually, the process which takes place inside this precious package, and the end result can’t be grasped entirely with a scientific mind. When a tiny beak finally breaks the shell, and a new being emerges, it is a wondrous occurrence.
Even though I wasn’t present during the actual hatching of this new generation of Canada Geese, I saw this family of seven when the five goslings were only a day or two old.
Their cuteness and bright baby down were irresistible, and I took my time enjoying their antics. The adults were protective, but not hyper-vigilant, and the gander hissed at me only when I stepped across an invisible line. They herded their brood slowly along a stretch of fresh grass which served as a buffet for the young ones. So early in their lives, they were still a bit shaky on their legs and had to sit and rest on the ground regularly, which was immediately turned into an occasion for grooming their fluffy fuzz.
A nap was encouraged, and even though Mama Goose tucked her head under her wings, and Daddy kept careful watch, the young ones did not remain still for long. There was too much to explore in this wonderful new world that had become theirs.
I was relieved when I found the family again two days later, still counting seven. Already, the babies were turning into mischievous toddlers, and were wrangling with one another.
Many hazards await them, and nobody knows what the future holds. But for now, I am happy for this gift of new life, and I am rooting for them.
Click here for the German version/klicken Sie bitte hier für die deutsche Version: