Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New Drama on the Pond

My Box Seats Under the Old Apple Tree
Drama Begins on Goose Island
Trumpeting the Horns
Geese on High Alert, Yellow Babies Camouflaged
Enter the Slinking Goose
A Third Goose Appears on the Island
A Gos-napping?
Snake-Goose Herds the Yellow Babies into the Pond
Get Ready for the Plot Twist
The Father is Triumphant
 “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.” ~Aldo Leopold
We are not without our cultural arts, here in northern Idaho. A few weeks ago, a traveling troupe of aerial singers arrived and we enjoyed a lovely Day at the Opera. Now it's drama on the pond, starring our feathered celebrity neighbors, the talented Canada Geese.

Not quite an amphitheater, our local stage is peat-lined water and the backdrop is a forested ridge that curtains the craggy Selkirks behind a wall of dense green. I have season tickets to box seats beneath the old apple tree.

Drama arrived as more geese gathered on stage. My concern has been for yellow babies, unseen and hopefully kept in the wings out of harm's way. The show turned risque a few nights ago with sounds and postures of mating. More babies on the way.

And that is what led to today's new drama. Grab some popcorn.

Like trumpeting horns of another era, I hear the geese and take my seat. I watch a goose take a protective pose on Goose Island, the largest mat of floating peat, grass and mud in Elmira Pond. Another goose is slinking in the water, undulating like a snake from black beak to tail feathers.

From my seat, it looks like an attack.

And that's when I catch movement on the island. It's the yellow babies! Oh, no, I think, preparing for the plot to turn sinister. Is that snaking goose threatening the babies? It continues to slither around the entire perimeter of the pond. The noise is raucous. The babies are bouncing balls of feathers.

Two other geese invade the island and the dominate one raises wings like an old-time actor in a Dracula movie. I think he's protecting the babies. And then the snaky goose invades! With his head low on that serpentine neck, he gathers the babies.

Gos-napping? I'm riveted to the scene afraid of what happens next.

Squawking increases. If this were a Disney production all would have broken out in song by now. But there's nothing harmonious about the drama. A second goose from the island trio breaks away as the gos-napper urges the yellow babies into the water.

And then the plot twists -- the island geese were not the parents!

As the original family swims away, I realize what has actually happened.

The new arrivals decided to nest on goose island. However, it is one of the safe areas the other couple hides their goslings while they graze on shore. The new couple must have startled the babies, alerting the parents. The slinking goose was actually the rescuing parent, most likely the father. Though mother bravely conquered the island and helped.

I rate this a five-star drama. It had my attention the entire time and I love the happy ending.

Linking up with Abracabadra for Wordless Wednesday. Drama photos by Charli Mills.


  1. Wow!
    Loved your narration next to these priceless captures of yours' Charli :)

    Always a pleasure to have you on board

  2. very Hollywood, with the unexpected twist at the start of act three. Long may the run continue before transferring to Broadway (aka summer feeding grounds0

    1. Ha, ha! The players all seem enthusiastic to stay, but I have heard rumors of catching flights out of town later.