Saturday, the summer solstice, brought two new goslings into the goose pen.

Their names? Summer and Solstice.

My old goose Susie Q, one of only two remaining from my original flock, hatched out the babes, and while Finny and Shamus are baby-sitting for the two little ones, she’s trying to hatch out another.

It’s always a joy to me to see nature do what it does when little geese hatch out of those great big eggs.

I knew something was up because Finny and Shamus were doing what male geese always do when a birth is impending: they post themselves outside the goose coop and keep watch.

Susie Q is one of two remaining geese from the original flock I acquired more than 10 years ago. The other is Seb, Finny and Shamus’s father, who makes his home with Dufey and her two goslings, Ossie and Gossie.

I’m in hopes that I can move the four of them into the main pen and coop at the end of the summer. But, with the hierarchy the way it is with geese, that may not be possible.

I look at my wonderful flock and think back to the original members: Seb’s brother Sam and his sister, Sally, and Susie Q’s sister, SalGal who have since died from either illness or wild critters.

SalGal, Finny and Shamus’ mother, was a really special girl. She was the smartest of the flock, and every now and then she remembered that she could fly when I tried to round everyone up from grazing and bring them back into the pen.

She hatched out most of my flock and was wonderful at caring for the babes.
It was because of her that I got my first black eye, too.

When she was sick — from what I don’t know — and still in the main goose pen, the other geese would attack her as is the way of nature when a fellow member is sick.

As I picked her up to bring her into the little pen for some peace, I thought she was too weak to whop me with her still-powerful wings. But she wasn’t.

I walked around with a black eye for days. She died that night as I sat with her, and she is buried in the pet cemetery.

Now with Summer and Solstice and Ossie and Gossie hatched this season, I look forward to watching the little ones grow and see their own distinct personalities.

Meanwhile, the flock of khaki Campbell ducks is also growing. Soon, they’ll be as big as Millie, the only adult khaki Campbell that survived a raccoon attack.

Millie continues to give us an egg a day, and by fall, the female Chocolate Drops should start laying as well.

It’s such a joy to sit on the back stoop and watch Finny and Shamus walking along with Summer and Solstice, or see how devoted Seb and Dufey are to Ossie and Gossie.

Such is the way when the members of the flock are pets.

Finny still prefers to eat out of my hand, as does Plum Blossom and Blackberry. Sammie is till sitting on a couple of eggs, in hopes of hatching out babes.

Along with the garden, and the wild birds who visit the geese and duck food, sitting out by the backdoor couldn’t be any more satisfying.

Eileen M. Adams has been raising geese for at least 10 years, and just recently began the same venture with her ducks. She may be reached at [email protected]


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