Note: The following images are from a personal project that I've worked on over the past 2 1/2 years:
It was in April of 2006 that my family first heard the exuberant honking of two Canada geese coming from the direction of the pond behind our home. At that time, we had no idea how much of a part of our lives the pair would be become.
That first year, the boisterous waterfowl only stayed for a few weeks, aggressively defending the one-acre pond against any other approaching pair. Then, one day they suddenly left and we expected to never see them again; for better or for worse, we were wrong.
The following spring, the pair returned about a week earlier than they had in 2006. However, this time, they appeared more confident, and even began to walk up the hill from the pond and 'spy' on our daily activities. Little by little, they came quite close –we were in love. However, the feeling wasn't always mutual. The pair, comprised of a small female and a tall but standoffish male, was dubbed ‘Grumpy and Shy’ by my oldest son. Shy was the male and Grumpy –a very appropriate title– was given to the overly aggressive female. In fact, she was so willing to nip at our shins that we assumed that she was the male; that is until she began to nest.
We eagerly watched the young female as she tossed leaves and soft down onto her back and then shook the nesting material down around her feet, slowly building up a nest over a period of days. My wife, who had never really been a bird lover prior to this event, became enamored by the process and read everything that she could about the life cycle of Canada geese. Anxiously, we counted the days until when the eggs were supposed to hatch. In early May, we saw our first glimpses of the five beautiful goslings that Grumpy had hatched.