The geese are back! For most of the year, Canada geese live together in large flocks, and our little pond is too small to support a big overwintering flock of geese. When spring arrives, pairs of geese separate from the big flocks, and, like Mr and Mrs Mallard in the storybook Make Way for Ducklings, they fly around looking for a place to raise their babies. Apparently the geese woke up this morning, saw that spring had arrived, set out to find nest sites, and found our farm suitable. When we walked down to the barn just after dawn to milk Shirley the cow, a lone pair of geese was standing on the ice-covered pond. Soon others arrived too and they all wandered around the pasture looking for just the right spot to build nests.
The red winged blackbirds must define spring in the same way as the geese. They, too, had been absent from our farm all winter and magically reappeared this morning to establish territories around the pond. They filled the dawn with song, with their shiny black bodies and crimson markings glittering in the sunlight.
By sundown, all the ice in the pond had melted and the geese were gleefully splashing in open water. Spring is on the way. We're looking forward to watching the wild animals raise their babies on the farm, alongside the piglets, lambs, chicks, turkey poults, and guinea keets who will all arrive before long.