Friday, May 29, 2009


We have four pairs of Geese pasturing on our lawns! They make quite a mess, but the Goslings are cute and it is interesting to watch the behavior of the parents defending the goslings from perceived threats. They are quite formidable!

Maria's visit

Jenna and Maria sitting in the late May streaming sunlight in Grandpa's bedroom

Maria and Jenna visited over the Memorial Day Weekend! We had a great time. Mostly we just hung out around the house and visited some nearby old friends of Jenna's - Sally and her boyfriend came over for breakfast. Maria also got a chance to gather eggs from the hens. We went to the Woodland Coffee and Tea Room for an afternoon tea.

On the way back to the airport for the trip home we stopped off at Maria's great grandparents - Great Grandma Shirley and Great Grandpa Vern.

At the Woodland Coffee and Tea Room

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This season's wild goose goslings

Today is the first day that I have seen this season's goslings brought out by their parents to feed and parade. The parading part of my description is obviously an anthropomorphism.

Over the last few days I have begun to realize, on a new level, the size and import of the wetlands that are part of our property. Every day I get to see the beaver, muskrats, geese, ducks, herons, bitterns, etc. associated with the wetlands of Paradox Creek that run along our road frontage for a quarter of a mile or more. It is quite amazing and I take it completely for granted.

Just yesterday, as I was mowing my lawn, a Mayfly landed on my glasses. I could see it out of the corner of my eye and thought that there are many an urban fisher who would die to live in a place where a mayfly is an annoyance, rather than a cause for celebration! Actually, if they would indeed die for it, then they would give up their job and move here! Of course, there is the small matter of the blackflies biting my calves just above the sock line as they move up my open pants legs to get at my blood. Why did I forget the rubber bands that I usually put around my cuffs to prevent this?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


For years I have been thrilled to watch the local fox 'Den Mother' take care of her young pups. This spring she spent hours resting under the hemlock in our back yard. Now I am filled with anxiety each time she shows up looking, I'm sure for food for her pups, in our yard. She has circled around our chicken pen feigning disinterest and pretending to be totally involved in mousing. But, I know that at the first chance she will be trying to take our chickens.

It is an interesting trade off, when we have domestic animals the wild animals become menacing. Before, I loved hearing the coyotes howling, and watching them play in the north pasture was always a highlight of the season, now, my first thought at seeing fox or coyote is: "Are my chickens in danger? What can I do to protect them? Should I shoot it?
Today, I spent some time reinforcing the protective fencing around the chickens. Hopefully, it will work.
Bekah had some interesting ideas - How about buying some field mice from the pet store to leave in vulnerable situations around the chickens as diversions for the fox. I ruled it out as too expensive. She had other ideas, but was getting carried away with her 'smartness'. Kids are great! Even when they are 43 years old and way more clever than their dad.