Three goose families are hanging out together in the park that borders my condo complex. Not many of our resident geese manage to ignore, or hide away from, the cannons that shoot off sound bombs. So most of the eggs they lay never hatch.
It’s just as well. If more goslings hatched, there would be pressure to cull the flocks. Though my heart feels a tug every time those darned cannons boom, I know I’d be among those protesting a cull. So I sigh and watch for the canny pairs who succeed in bringing new life into the neighbourhood.
The first family appeared a couple months ago. They are in the far right in the photo. Their five goslings are nearly full grown.
The second family came along a month later. All seven survived and are about half grown.
The newest family has only three goslings, one of which appears in the photo. The other two popped up over the embankment seconds after I took this shot.
The three families are inseparable, as if a small village were raising the children. Although they hang out together, each family maintains a slight distance from the others. Maybe that’s the secret of their equanimity.
Soon the oldest goslings will start their flight lessons. Before winter, all will have mastered the skills they need to fly from field to field, as they must when summer’s green fades and they have to travel to find food.
I admire the geese for carving out a niche in a human-dominated neighbourhood that once would have belonged to them and their wild relatives. And I can’t help but celebrate when some of them foil our attempts to keep their numbers within the tolerance levels we impose.