The Memorial Day weekend and the time leading up to it brought a couple of species of critters into our lives. First, it's time for new life down at the Ditch. When I saw a marvelous photo by our neighborhood nature photographer, I knew I'd better get down there before all the babies grew up! And I wasn't disappointed!
Mother and Father Goose were out with the kids -- five little goslings, all enjoying a lovely swim. Goslings hatch with their eyes open and can swim right away. They leave the nest with mom and did the next day and in two months or less will have grown their adult feathers and learned how to fly.
These are still in the swimming and walking stage. Eventually they scrambled through the weeds to come onto the path for a bit.
Then back in the water -- and off to another part of the path. This was the moment when I thought I might be cornered. Geese take a dim view of anyone coming close to the kids and I was creeping, one small step at a time, as they hissed at me. I thought it might be a stand-off but they let me pass!
Meanwhile, I got a good look at a lot of yellow fluff!
And, what cute fluff it was.
Mama Duckles had her work cut out for her. Eleven babies were following in her wake. (Did you know that ducks in the wild can swim from the moment they are born? Ducks that are incubated lack essential oils to keep them insulated, dry and warm in the water.)
It was hard to get them all into one photo!
They, too, came onto land, poking about for anything interesting (with little luck).
Then back into the water! The geese were coming in and it was time to share the land!
They headed off to the opposite side of the pond where they settled onto the bank, all huddled together for a nice nap, under the watchful eye of Mom.
About two weeks later, I was passing by the Ditch and saw the geese by the road -- and boy, had those babies grown quickly!
Of course I stopped for a photo or two. One thing that amazed me was how huge their feet were for the size of their bodies!
They weren't too keen on being the subjects of a photo shoot and headed off to the water -- mom, dad and the five babies -- who now look like teenagers!
Those weren't the only "critters" I've recently seen this spring. I noticed an interesting one in a tree, which upon closer look was easy to identify!
I love that fabulous face...
....and so does his Grandpa. I have learned that it is better to be a photographer than to try and race these two!
And then there was this one, with his new haircut.
A quick return visit found us back at the park with a push in the tire swing...
...a quick pose by the fire trucks...
...and a sweet goodbye.
You probably don't need to ask which creatures I liked best! Yup. this one -- and is brother!