Every year after the Buchanan Ponds' icy water thaws, the same flock of Canada Geese reappears and trumpets the arrival of spring. They settle in right away and begin nesting immediately. They are comfortable enough to stay here all summer long.
Through the molting season, an eight to ten week flightless period when a goose sheds and then replaces its primary flight feathers, the vulnerable bird must be near water so that it feels safe from predators.
This protective mother had four goslings and she hissed threateningly whenever we approached them. I shot this portrait of her on a warm summer day while she was grazing on the grassy banks of one of the ponds.
A pure white chin strap accents the sleek, black head and neck. The beautiful, brown patterning on the back and wings make it an elegant looking bird. Because these large waterfowl have become so common and are sometimes considered a pest, I think their striking appearance often goes unappreciated.