I began working on this post about two weeks ago. The photos have been ready to go for months, but I have been taken up with life. Still, as has happened so frequently, the Canadians galvanised me into writing. And so we begin.
Two days ago, on April 22, 2022, this year’s Goslings made their first appearance. Yes, I got photos. Papa has been wandering alone for a month, so I knew it wasn’t long. Put me in mind of last year, a year ago today, April 24, 2021.
Then, as now, the family had returned en masse in February to visit the old homestead, before the juvenile males went off to join the other unmated males in the area and the juvenile females found mates and went off to live their lives.
Then, as now, Papa and Mama wandered about the property in March.
And of course, there were visits with the Man and the Lady in the window.
I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so aware of the fact that Mama was heavy with egg.
Perhaps it was because she and I bonded a little as I took photos of her Goslings the previous year. We really did connect in a very different way.
In fact, our entire relationship with them had acquired a much deeper intimacy than ever before, the previous year, and it seemed to have continued in 2021.
It didn’t seem to matter where we were on the property, if Mama and Papa were nearby, they came over for a visit.
Sometimes, there was just a great photo-op, as on March 23, 2021.
And then came the last day we saw Mama before she retired to her nest to lay her eggs and protect them.
Then, as now, Papa spent the end of March and most of April, alone.
Then, on April 24, 2021, “The Goslings are here! Sweetheart!! The Goslings are here!””
“Already?!” he exclaimed (oh for an interrobang).
“Already!!” I yelled as I grabbed my camera.
Those of you who have followed this blog so patiently over the years know that the Canadians are family to us, at this point. I have tens of thousands of photos of them, documenting their every move as seen from my desk at our living room window. It’s made a beautiful birding blind, I must say.
Papa and Mama trust us like no other humans and have, every year, brought their newborns to meet us. Last year was no exception. It is always so exciting to see them for the first time. Our first photos session was late on the afternoon of the day they were born.
As I write this, I can’t help feeling a bit sad. We have to move, you see. Ten years we’ve had in our little piece of Heaven, but our landlords want it back. So, that’s that.
Watching our family come back to the property this year has been difficult. Usually, I’d’ve had my camera in hand and taken hundreds of photos already. This year, knowing that I will not see them fly, I can’t bring myself to do it. I take the odd photo (surely you don’t think that in the last few days I haven’t taken even one picture of the new Goslings) but it’s difficult knowing that I won’t be observing them, getting to know them intimately, as I have since May of 2012.
And yet, on April 22 of this year, two days earlier than last year, having watched Papa hanging around lonely while he waited for a month, a well known cry rang through our house.
“The Goslings are here!” proving that no matter where we live, or whether we see it happen, life goes on, and will continue long after we are gone.