Sunday, May 31, 2009

goose update

Nature has dealt a cruel blow to the pair of geese that I've been obsessing about since the middle of May when I first saw their nest. They laid their eggs on a tiny island in the middle of a drainage pond and unfortunately the water level fluctuates quite a bit. The mother was apparently still in the midst of laying her eggs because she would occasionally leave the nest for short periods of time. It looks like there are two or three eggs in there. I read that once the goose lays all of her eggs she doesn't leave the nest until they've hatched. So hopefully she had a few more to go.

When we got all that rain last week the island was nearly completely under water. I took this picture around noon on Tuesday.

Later that evening the geese came back and they just stood there motionless while we looked at them. It was pretty sad. I don't think they had quite figured out what they should do next. I know how that feels. The water had subsided a little bit. I was sure that the nest had washed away and unfortunately freshly laid goose eggs don't float.
I checked again on Wednesday but they weren't there. I think they are probably gone for good. Maybe they found a new place to lay the rest of their eggs.

On Thursday I went back one last time. The water level was back where it had been the very first time I saw the nest. The twigs of the nest actually looked like they had survived the flooding, but the eggs are gone. So I guess I won't be seeing any one day old goslings swimming around in this pond anytime soon. I hope that she had a couple more eggs to drop and she found a safer place to build her new nest.

Life is so random sometimes. Since I became a freelancer I've learned that it's all just part of the package. You just deal with whatever comes your way, however good or bad or strange it happens to be. We lost our home four years ago and we're still rebuilding it. That disrupted a rather nice steady employment situation that I gratefully enjoyed for four years.
Then I was given a wonderful opportunity to finish my M.M. degree. On the very first day of school I got a call for a three month jazz trio gig in Dubai. That is exactly the kind of thing that I have always wanted to do but hadn't really pursued so that was very random. I was bummed that I couldn't do it and I saved that message on my phone for the entire school year. The year of school was wonderful though and well worth doing.
While I was at graduation I got a call to do a three month ship gig in the Mediterranean, which I can't do yet because I need to stay home and finish building my house. And exactly one week after getting a masters in jazz studies I suddenly and inexplicably find myself having a bunch of classical gigs, including a performance of the Mozart Requiem and a recording session for a new requiem by a local composer.

I guess I'll be thinking about those poor little unborn goslings while I play these pieces. I'll be thinking about other friends too. But now it's time to stop with all the philosophizing and go cut the damn grass which is super long once again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Last week we were walking up to the Greek place to get some lunch when we saw a goose sitting on her nest down in the drainage pond next to the road. It was kind of an unexpected sight and we found ourselves going back each day to check on her and her mate. Here are some pictures I took over the next week and a half:

Sometimes the father goose would hang out in the grass.

Yesterday when we stopped by the mother goose had left the nest, probably to do a little eating and grooming. The eggs are still there though.

And the father goose was keeping a watchful eye on the nest.

Today Mrs. Goose is back on the nest again.

The water level has really gone down quite a bit from where it was when I first saw them. Their little island is a lot bigger now. I hope this is not an issue for them.

I found out that the female with lay one egg at a time every 1-2 days and the total number of eggs is usually about 5. Once she's finished laying all of her eggs, she'll stay on the nest pretty much full time until they hatch about a month later. This site contains all the information anyone would probably ever want to know about Canadian geese. When I first saw her sitting on the nest, I was all excited at the prospect of seeing one day old goslings during the next couple of days. But now it looks like it might be a few more weeks so I guess I'll just have to be patient.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

mission accomplished

I finally finished cutting my grass. It was long and thick and took me a total of eleven hours spread over 3 days to get it all done. I always dread the annual spring growth spurt because it's so hard to keep up with it. I hate getting all dirty and it's annoying that it was necessary to do that three separate times this week. But the chance to "commune" with nature makes it somewhat more tolerable. It's nice to look up at the sky because there isn't any long grass to look at up there. And it's always nice to see Mr. Rabbit!

Friday, May 22, 2009

big day today

This morning I had to get up super early so that I could attend the music department's graduation ceremony at 9AM. It's hard to believe that this school year is over. It went by pretty fast. I am so grateful for having been given the opportunity to finish my M.M. degree with the help of a teaching assistantship. I definitely wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise. And I loved the teaching part at least as much as I did the learning part. I am also grateful to all of my teachers who I learned so much from during all of this. They inspired me to work hard enough to graduate with straight A's! So yay them and yay me!

Now that I'm finished with school I can finally get back to building my house. So maybe that goal will also be accomplished this year - who knows? I got called for another ship gig (in the Mediterranean) yesterday, but I can't do that again until my house is finished, which is a bummer. But for now, finishing our house and moving back in is my number one goal.

However my more immediate goal (for the next hour) is to rest up for two back to back gigs this afternoon and evening. Have a great weekend!

She's thinking "Wow, I finally finished something!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

things I saw on my walk today

I'm feeling more non-verbal than usual. My brain is hibernating.

I'm not sure if anyone still lives in this old house.

Interesting trunk on an ivy-covered holly tree.

These are tulip poplar blooms. I've never noticed these before.

That's an awfully deep kiss. Or maybe he's feeding her. Or, is that how birds make babies? Haha, I'm kidding!

Another tulip poplar bloom

Paulownia Tree

Here's that old house again. My walk is almost finished.

Friday, May 1, 2009

reunion time

Last weekend I met up with my two roommates from senior year for our college reunion. Although we've gotten together several times since we graduated, it had been a really long time since all three of us had returned together to the original scene of the crime. We had a blast, and it was also wonderful to see the other people from our class who came. It was a great weekend which brought back many fond memories.....

Here we are, whooping it up out in the woods at my "birthday" party!