Geese beneath my feet.

This week’s photo challenge prompt is ‘Beneath Your Feet.’ I’ve got some ideas about shots to take this week, but I’m not sure I can do better than to share a favorite set of photos from my digital scrapbook, of an exciting event that took place, over the course of weeks, right under my feet.

We have a deck overlooking a pond. From the front of the apartment building, we are on the first floor, but we are kind of built into a hill so our deck, at the back of the building, is almost a full story off the ground. In April, after we moved here, a commotion outside caught my attention. I went out to see this:

goose going to nest snow tracks

This guy was honking and calling, but he was only making about half the noise I heard. The other half of the conversation was coming from directly beneath me. I had to get down on my hands and knees to peer between the boards to see that his mate was huddled on the snowy rocks under our deck. (We’d had a significant late season snow storm just the day before.) Apparently, the pair had set up housekeeping in the semi-sheltered place  under our deck, and, by the looks of it, they were planning on staying put, despite the weather.

It was a rough spring. It stayed cold. We had several more snows in April. The geese held to their convictions. My husband and I were struggling too. Both of us were still looking for work, after almost three months of unemployment.

In between filling out applications, I became friends with the female goose, who did most of the sitting*. It’s not good to feed geese much bread, which has too much protein, but with the weather being so inhospitable, I did drop a bite or two down to her once in a while. She became accustomed to me laying flat on the deck and talking to her, and she seemed to look forward to the occasional treat … as long as it landed close enough to her. She would not stand up or move from the nest to get a piece that fell beyond the range of her long neck.

(*Research has informed me that the female does ALL the incubating, and the male just guards the nest area, but many times I saw the male come and take over the nest toward evening. It was hard to miss because the two of them had a lot to say about the switching process.)

Weeks passed. Finally real spring arrived. I had found a full time job working the night shift at the Paranormal Hotel. I was usually asleep during the day, so I didn’t get to spend much time chatting with the goose. One afternoon, before I headed out to work, I remembered to check on her. This is what I saw:

geese underneath one gosling

 

She totally know I was up there, and, I swear, she moved aside so I could see this:

geese underneath deck 2012

 

That last egg never hatched, though she stayed with it for another day and a half.

I have one more shot of the little family to share. Don’t fret, two of the goslings are just beyond the edges of the shot. I assure you that the couple successfully raised all five of their goslings into sleek adults.

Geese underneath half  grown

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Here are some of my favorite entries for the “beneath your feet” prompt  from others:

(I’ll add more as I have time to browse, so feel free to check back.)

| Dog greeting the sun | the ledge shot, especially | ‘Feet’ – just the feet | chickens | bike shadow | from a train | baseball base | giant bird tracksWhere the Ancients Trod Before Us | black squirrelKathmandu cremation ceremony | the Portland Airport’s carpet, with its story | dor beetle, especially | “The fish are swimming toward the front of the ship.” | first autumn leaves | the center of France | river rocks | art collage | an unexpected reflection |

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13 Comments on “Geese beneath my feet.”

  1. zipcoffelt says:

    Great story, great photos!!

  2. scillagrace says:

    How wonderful to be an honored auntie!

  3. trablogger says:

    The footprints are captures very nicely

  4. We have many geese in our area that nest in bizarre places, like a parking lot median at the local Costco. They turned 4 carts upside down and put police tape around them to keep people from bothering her. When it was cold and windy the tape slapped terribly loud, but she never moved until the eggs hatched.

  5. Wonderful story and photos!

  6. The pictures of the webbed footprints in the snow are great. My memories of geese are not fond as they’ve hissed at me and chase has ensued on more than one occasion…

    • I know they can be terrifying … very territorial and much bigger than most people realize. (Our farm geese took a dislike to one of my nephews, back when we were kids. I believe he still hates geese.) I do my best to keep my distance, which works until they decide to take over a public walkway.


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