There is a goose nesting in our reeds by the pond even though it is late in the season for this. Usually, a pair of geese will share in the nesting duties with the male aggressively protecting his family, but something must have happened to her mate because she is very much alone…and nothing but death keeps mated geese apart.
I’ve been watching now for weeks and I have never caught her off her nest. I hope the bugs she roots out around her are enough to sustain her life. She’s close enough to the water’s edge for an occasional drink without moving too far away. Perhaps she does this in the still of the night since we don’t have many nocturnal visitors. It must be extraordinarily hard for a single goose driven with the instinct to protect her young yet also endowed with the need for self preservation to find a balance between the two. There is good reason why geese mate for life and work as a team in the rearing of their young. It was never meant for her to do this alone, but geese are amazingly resilient.
So she found a safe place that is not necessarily frequented by a lot of people. There are much busier places on the path that surrounds the pond, plus our cat and dog don’t chase the geese that come into our yard. In fact, they pretty much ignore each other. Some agreement must have been reached between them all years ago, because when the geese stopped coming onto the back porch and eating the cat food, the cat and dog stopped chasing them away.
As I watch this mother goose, I have thought about all the single parents out there who are raising their children on their own, and some certainly not by choice. It seems that geese are more devoted than people.