This is going to be an odd year.
This year, for the first time since we moved here, there will be no Canada Geese on the pond near our house.
For the better part of a week, I watched the new little family and even though we hadn’t come to know this pair as well as those in other years, the little ones brought promise and joy to a Spring that was far too long in coming.
As I do every year, every day I haunted the window, hoping for a sight of them. I laughed when I recognised the adventurous one – there’s always one that strays a little further than the others, that lags behind or suddenly goes off in a different direction.
Last Friday, there was only one Goose and four Goslings. I kept watch, but I knew then what had happened. I tried to convince myself that there was some reason and the missing would be with the family later. They weren’t.
I’m pretty sure it was the smaller of the two that was taken, but we were stumped at what could have got a Canada Goose. The only reason she wouldn’t be there is if she’d been killed. Geese do not abandon their families, most particularly not Mama Geese. All we can think is that a fox got her, possibly, as she defended one of the little ones.
For two days, Papa kept his remaining four goslings safe. On Sunday, there was only one. My heart broke for him – his life mate and four babies gone in a matter of days.
I’ve watched every day since. In the morning the first thing I’ve done, the last before I’ve left for work, and the first thing upon returning from work, has been to check on them. He has never strayed far and has at times placed himself directly above his little one as the ravens have played their tricks to get close enough. I watched him fend one off as it made a low flying pass.
I haven’t seen either in two days.
All I can think is that the ravens got the little one and Papa joined another group.
My sweetheart says he heard geese calling around the pond yesterday.
This morning, four Canada Geese flew low over the pond, calling the entire time. My sense is that they are looking for the family.
This gallery is the best of them. The first was taken on May 10, the last on May 15.
I know it’s Nature’s way. I accept that. But I miss them and I mourn them. My eyes fill with tears and my throat closes on my vocal chords every time I think of it.
Last night, we drank a toast to our little family of Canadians, and to the new family that we hope to meet next Spring.
It’s going to be a very odd summer.