Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years eve . . . what fun!

All of us along the riverbank gathered last night and held paws and feathers to celebrate and reflect on the year past ~ to embrace the present ~ and to look forward in hope and thanksgiving. It was a beautiful night gathering ~ everyone brought a "dish to pass", we sang, hummed, danced, and honked.

I felt so honored to hold the celebration here this year! Pilgrim and I had decorated with pine bows, pumpkins, pine cones, and miniature ice sculptures! It was a little tight.

We spread out all our delightful dishes ~ what a feast! Gizmo came out of his hole bringing a fantastic French onion soup made with the broth from an old carcass he found by the creek. I don't know what it was but it made a delicious broth topped with dried chives. The Snot Mice brought a stolen carrot puree, why do they alway have to steal?!  Drusilla made mint tea. Miss Clovis made an apple sauce with honey acorn topping. I shared my famous marinated snails, they look alittle gray but just don't look before you eat them. Pilgrim generously offered her honeyed seed cake. Hazel's famous dish is a pumpkin pie with corn crust. We also had chopped black walnuts basted with dried raspberries; and lots of firm roots. 

We had visitors all night ~ it was beautiful. There were just a few snowflakes. The Woman With the Long Blue Apron provided the lighting. We ate til we were stuffed and then just laid back and thought how fortunate and wonderful we are to have friends! ~ a home! ~ and corn! We all agreed to make our new years resolution to pause everyday to enjoy the beauty around us, to help each other, and always share our corn!

Happy new year!

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! Oh, my . . .

I could hardly sleep last night ~ I kept flopping about and every once in a while I reached out my feathered fingers to touch my two very brightly colored packages just to be sure they were still there! I have never received a Christmas present before! I always wondered if I had been forgotten. Pilgrim said that if I did not get a present it meant that someone else needed it more! . . . that actually I was being watched over very carefully and lovingly. It had nothing to do with my being good or bad it really had to do with need. Perhaps someone needed my gifts more. That thought always made me feel better but I do admit two presents are pretty exciting! This year word had gone out to the great stars that I was in need . . . in need of remembrance. Oh, it is wonderful to get a surprise gift!

Morning came, Pilgrim and I took one last look at our perfectly wrapped presents and we started tearing the paper off! How I love to rip and tear!!!! I grabbed the ribbon with my beak and pulled! What do you think I got? I saw Gizmo at daybreak pop his head out from under the air compressor shed with a brand new hat! It was a most distinguished tweed deerstalker hat! Goodness, he looked stylish! and so proud! Pilgrim got a special green knitted bag to carry her eggs in, and a most delicious looking seed cake!

So ~ just remember ~ if sometime you don't get a present at Christmas it is not because you have been forgotten, or that you are bad, or that you are not loved . . . it just had to go to someone in greater need.

I am flapping my wings for all of you for a perfectly happy Christmas day!

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Snowy Christmas Eve . . . a special night

It's dark now along the river bank. The moon is covered in snow flakes, there are no stars, and it is ever so peaceful. It's a special night. I am on my job as Air Traffic Controller. I am watching the sky for signs of unusual duck and goose movement. There is no wind except for some slight squalls coming from the north . . . something MAY be coming. In a most disgusted mood, Pilgrim went to bed early. I don't know ~ I think I hear something coming, and see a tiny red light in the distance. It's coming along the riverbank! It's MASSIVE ~ flying deer and some kind of strange vehicle with a man in red ~ oh my!!! He's dropping bright colored boxes and packages along the river bank! One was placed outside Gizmo's door ~ I saw his light go on. There are so many packages! He is turning this way ~ up over the mill and he dropped six packages!!! ~ MY NAME IS ON TWO!~ ~ Oh Boy! Oh I hope it's a seed cake ~ I want a seed cake! There is a nicely written tag that says I cannot open it until the 25th . . . I hope I can wait! I am going to go snuggle down deep in my straw and dream of a seed cake ~ maybe a knitted blue scarf or a red sweater!!!!  Maybe, just maybe . . .

Until next time . . .

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow, Snow, Snow! . . . And I Am Bored!

Snow, snow and more snow! and I am bored. How many pumpkins can one goose roll?! Really!!! I did have a visit from Hazel, Miss Hazel should have gone to bed for the winter as all good chipmunks. She has gotten quite fat eating my seed cakes. The Woman With The Long Blue Apron confronted her about her obesity and she only put her paws on her fat little hips and said, "I like being fat. Fat is good especially when you have to sleep all winter without heat. Imagine awakening on a winter night hungry and cold! FAT IS GOOD!!!!! Hazel had to put in a new home under the corner of the mill where The Man With The Long Blue Apron sleeps. Her primery home was destroyed by a scruffy bratty little dog. Anyway, it works ~ she sits with us sometimes in the evening, watches the stars, and shares our corn. In fact two nights ago she decided to sleep with us . . . she is a soft little corn silk ball!

I NEED a job! It's a little limiting here. We have been having snow squalls. What is a snow squall anyway? Drusilla, Ms. Duck came by yesterday and pushed herself through the goat wire fence to visit (is this prison?!). She came up with a suggestion. Since I am not this winter in the creek perhaps I could direct duck flights over the creek during snow squalls and rain, and to the "forever" corn pile. She said several ducks have flown by mistake into tree branches. Sounds like the perfect job!

PERFECT!!! I will monitor the skies for incoming flights ~ and honk out directions. I shall flap my wings like semaphore. Sometimes during a full moon we have heavy incoming duck traffic. I shall flap my wings:
   "signal lamps for the creek runway!"
   "Alter your course to the starboard!"
   "Duck down! "
   "Duck overboard!"
   "Free passage!"
   "You are in danger! You are dragging your tail!"

I think I need a special hat and badge ~ BOB THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's snow time and I am very thankful I am NOT a turkey!

Our flock will never be the same but we must look forward. Pilgrim is less grouchy and Helen seems pretty content. I think by spring maybe we can be free to sail the creek again~sure hope so. Right now, I rejoice that I am alive and well cared for~I can smell the air, bite snowflakes that dance about. The Woman With The Long Blue Apron celebrated Thanksgiving with us today~it was such a feast: mealworms floating on water, escarole, seed cakes, dandelions, and corn. It was delicious. Later tonight the Mouse Snot family is coming~all right, I invited them. They usually come in the middle of the night to steal corn. The Woman With The Long Blue Apron even decorated our door with pumpkins. We are going to have fun rolling them around tomorrow. . . pumpkin war games!!!!She also said she going to decorate our home with colored lights!!!!! and a tree!!!! Well, honestly, I want a widescreen TV~~a BIG one. If I can't travel this winter I want a TV, no more looking through windows at night. This is going to fun!!!! The best part would be my other riverbank friends could come and watch too~~share corn. I am sooooo excited!!!!!

Until next time . . .

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just memories now . . .

My last blog seems to have been prophetic. We have experienced a terrible sad event and I feel it was my fault. 

We went down stream~~I know it was wrong but we were so caught up in the excitement and fun. There is always a wild excitement down stream. I had no idea that it would become such a sad catastrophe.

We left the Man With The Long Blue Apron for a while~~we didn't think we needed him, and he is a bit boring, and it seemed like so much fun. There were animals friends everywhere just "hanging out"~~then one particularly awful day everything changed. We~~all of us fur and feathered~~ were herded into a barn and one by one my flock was destroyed by a human with an ax. The smell of blood and death hung in the air. Two of my children were killed and all but Pilgrim and Helen died. And for what?! Why do humans have to kill? Where was The Man With The Long Blue Apron?!!! I heard screams and whimpering sounds. We huddled under some boxes hoping not to be seen I felt hope was fading~~my feathers were shaking.

Then in the distance I heard a voice calling my name~~it was the WOMAN WITH THE LONG BLUE APRON!!!!!!! She had found us. She put each of us in her car and drove us home. She held me tight. I could not even whisper a word. The first sight of home was so good~~we were weak from lack of corn. I could barely hold my head. She wiped my eyes, stroked my face, neck, and breast. And she kissed me. She saved us. She built a little home for us under HER bedroom window with a warm bathing pool and lots of corn. 

Pilgrim did not seem appreciative except for the corn. Couldn't she see what had happened and the danger? The three of us are safe now. She says she wants to be free. Right now I just want to eat corn and rest.

The Woman With The Long Blue Apron told us to come inside anytime if we were afraid. Well, last night I was, the nightmare came back to me. I started shaking and I wanted her so bad that rotated the door knob with my beak and with great difficulty mounted the stairs to her bed. I crawled ever so gently into her bed and spread my wings over her. It was the best hug I could give. She rested her head against my feathered breast and we slept in peace until dawn.

Until next time . . .

Monday, September 23, 2013

. . . leaving something behind

Every day along the river bank brings a new challenge. All of us try to focus on peaceful happy times... the times when every thing seems to fit just right. We know it never lasts very long . . . like a ripple on the water, everything is always moving and changing.

My friend, Olivia Frog, was just reminding me of how Eleanor Goose is doing. Now poor Eleanor had a shocking experience that scared her and us--it was frighteningly terrible. In the middle of a happy playful morning swim close to the water's edge, Eleanor touched her plump orange foot down on the creek bottom only to be surprised by a very quick grab to her toes. 

It was dreadful!--there was a big splash and a snap. Her sweet orange toes were held tight in something hard, cold, metallic, and very unforgiving. It would not let go, she screamed and cried--we all huddled about her. Cecil Turtle and Olivia swam deep under the water to see this monster.

It was a metallic monster with black teeth and a chain placed by an intruder. . . of the human kind.

Eleanor cried in fear, in panic, and in intense pain, it was overwhelming. I told everyone to be calm--we must be calm to think of what to do. What could we do? . . . did any of us have the strength to release her from these metallic jaws? Cecil, the strongest tired and failed.

Morning became afternoon . . . fear and pain grew. Soon darkness would come and another intruder would come and sadly take her life. WHERE was the Man With The Long Blue Apron?! It seemed hopeless, her life would be lost. We brought her corn from the corn pile and put it before her. She had no interest. Lewis Trout came by and tried to massage her little orange toes. 

Alas we realized the only way for her to survive was to surrender a portion of her lovely foot to that metallic monster. It was the only way, the hope for her to survive. 

We gathered about her and announced she must pull away with all her strength-- and let her precious little toes go. Eleanor was horrified! It was the only solution. Sometimes we have to let go of a part of ourselves in order to live. It is a very hard thing. Sometimes these things are obvious like this but sometimes they are very small. Well, we have to let go of our feathers, sometimes a tail, or maybe a parent or a friend. But it must be done with courage and the belief that in the end all will be well, it will happen to all of us. Eleanor refused--we had to swim a distance away and maybe let her go. She would soon become resigned to her situation and give up. Eleanor couldn't bear it--she called out to us. We kept our distance. Then suddenly with a flash in her eyes . . . and enormous spirit, strength, and courage she started to pull and pull. We called out encouragement, Olivia watched the progress under water. Then suddenly there was a great gasp--a pop, a snap, and a tear! Eleanor was free! . . . ALIVE and with HOPE. SHE WOULD LIVE! We gathered about her tight. Cecil packed her foot with mud and herbs. Tears flowed from her lovely blue eyes, she would never be the same. Eleanor was a new goose, strong, braver than any of us. She would be forever admired for her spirit, her courage, and her beauty.

And . . . Olivia and Cecil vowed they would forever monitor the water's edge for metallic monsters.

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

They left early as the first ray of sun came over the trees . . .

At first light they were gone and it seems a bit lonely. We had been watching Miss Helen Phoebe for weeks ~ building her nest, laying eggs, and patiently tending her eggs. We watched every day . . . Miss Helen had built a lovely nest on the side of the old mill above the light. She is a most conscientious mother . . . keeping her nest in proper order. Every year she has two families. Very early each morning, she flies about catching bugs for her babies. She is an inspiration to us. Her family of three babies are so patient and quiet when she is out and about. Everyday they have gotten bigger til they just couldn't fit in the nest and were forced to take turns perched on the very edge. We all knew they would soon be gone . . . time to leave the nest. It was hard to watch. She took them one by one guiding them over the edge and down from the nest on to the grass, then a short weak flight to the creek for their first drink. I watched the last one alone in the nest, waiting for her to come, trusting she would come, trusting her to lead her to a new place . . . a new world filled with adventure and danger. It's hard to see them go this was her last family for the summer. Now it's time to gather all the little birds and move to a place of rich food and warm breezes--plump bugs, flowing water, with family all close by. The last gathering for summer before everyone is gone except me. It's going to be sad not hearing her songs or her baby's chirps. One just has to grow up and accept the adventures that will come and live carefully, contentedly, sing songs to the morning light. 

Miss Helen has never fussed about what others are doing ~ she just keeps to her business and never worries. I hope she will return next year. Some wonderful spring morning I will hear her sing.

It's past midsummer, the cicadas are noisy and my family is growing! They are learning to enjoy the corn pile and how to call to the Man With the Long Blue Apron, and nap in the sun in the soft green grass in the afternoon under the mill window.

Until next time . . . 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our feathered armada . . .

A wonderful day in the sun!

My flock family and I have been having a wonderful summer sailing the creek in our feathered armada. We have had calm paddling, lots of fresh greens, and fat worms. And we are all molting . . . feathers everywhere. We are a bit in disarray but such fun for the goslings to play with. They are growing everyday ~ I must say they look rather prehistoric with bare wings and down where there should be feathers. MY FAMILY . . . isn't it wonderful!?

I think we may have company along the riverbank . . . a new home has been made at the edge of the water, a risky spot. It's right where the sweet flag used to be and below the nettles, and quite large. Who  could fit in such an opening? No one has seen the owner. I guess we will have to wait and see. Lewis Trout will be checking and of course Gizmo's hummingbird drones from his underground command center. I wonder if they will be friendly?

Until next time . . .

Monday, July 15, 2013

Was that a hummingbird?

FINALLY, Gizmo is back perusing the riverbank for fresh leafy plump greens. He looks GREAT!!! ...
his coat is thick and shiny and that tail! . . . luxurious! He wouldn't tell me where he has been, must have been pretty nice. He has beautiful muscle definition: his hair well greased, those pert ears and deep brown eyes. (Wait til Miss Prunella sees him!) He gave me a long stare and said he had been on a special mission. "MISSION"! for what? He has expanded his quarters under the the air compressor shed ~ he has dug deep and put in extra rooms with passages which he says are secret. Don't we all share here along the riverbank? . . . guess not. He says he has a plan to keep us all safe. He has been busy carrying strange objects into his hole. 

While my goose family and I were gathered at the corn pile, Gizmo whistled to me and winked. What does this mean?! He demanded I stick my head down his hole (I really hope I didn't get fleas!). It looked pretty nice ~ he has rewired his rooms and all new moss carpets with touches of lemon grass. In fact each room has a different herb scent ~ woodruff, clover, bayberry, wild mint, honeysuckle. Where did he get the money for all this!?  . . . it's beautiful! He has watercolor paintings on the walls of what looks like metallic hummingbirds!

Gizmo was bubbly with excitement: he said he has two metallic hummingbird drones! He wants to be  the first to monitor the riverbank from the air. From his underground "command center", he will be keeping track of us, watching for predators like Renard  Smythe "the fox",  checking all the best spots of greens to eat, checking blackberries for ripeness, checking for fresh corn, watching for the return of Sorelle and his gang of rats, monitoring the goslings ~ now wait a minute! Is that right? Gizmo says
 he must be modern in a time when there are so few uninhabited riverbank areas where we can live.

Gizmo says to keep watch because he will be. In fact, he will be looking in the mill windows! The Man With The Long Blue Apron may not like that idea.

"Gizmo, where did you get these? Do they really work? Don't you need a license for these?" ". . . how could anyone suspect me, I'm 'just' a woodchuck!"

Next time you see something buzz your head and a slight breeze touches you ~ it could be a hummingbird watching.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What a surprise! . . . I'm a . . .

It happened! . . . I have a family! It was not planned but then sometimes some of the very best things in life are a surprise! Charlotte had been laying eggs for weeks and then she just sat down and waited. I was not encouraged, after all, she had never been successful at hatching. They usually just rotted away. Then, on a very sunny hot morning it happened! The shells cracked open and there were three rather naked precious very yellow baby goslings. I am not sure I am the father but it doesn't matter because they will be MY family. We are all excited!

Charlotte was very clever to hide her eggs from evil predators like Renard Smythe known as "the fox". It has been a decade since we had any baby goslings. I and my flock have a new mission to protect and care for these babies. It takes a very dedicated compassionate flock to raise a gosling!

Our first long venture was to introduce our goslings to the Man With The Long Blue Apron. He was thrilled and immediately brought premium deluxe cracked corn to sprinkle at their feet. What a proud day!!!! Now we must surround them with love, support, and protection and teach them the ways of the riverbank. When it rains Charlotte tucks them under her wings ~ safe, dry, and warm ~ and we gather around Charlotte and sing. 

Here is my song, to the tune of Home on the Range:

Oh, what a wonderful home
Where I am not alone,
Where my flock honk all day,
Where the water is clear,
Where we often see deer,
Where we swim and we splash as we play.

Home, home on the creek!
Where the ducks and geese often stay.
Where people are nice, sprinkling corn when there's ice,
Where we swim and we splash when we play!

When along through the years,
Wanting young goslings to be here
Like the gander who lives down the way, 
I honk for some eggs and dance til the light,
Singing songs through the night
Where we swim and we splash when we play!

Home, home on the creek!
Where the ducks and geese often stay.
Where people are nice, sprinkling corn when there's ice,
Where we swim and we splash when we play!

Will you help me name these three precious goslings?

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oh where are you Mother?!

In this beautiful spring time when everything is coming alive and green, I start to get a little homesick for my egg. Sometimes I want to just pull myself together into that white shell and rock back and forth or roll around. And . . . I wish I could find my mother and father. When I came out of my shell they were gone. They never got to see my beautiful blue eyes, my orange lips and webbed feet~~feet everyone envies. I do look quite regal in an armada of feathered friends paddling the mill race. They never saw me swim for the first time, or hear me honk, or flap my wings or sing. At first I thought the man with the long blue apron was my father but he has a short neck, he can't float, has no orange lips, and sadly no feathers.

Well, last night when the moon was bright and it was all quiet I composed a song. Maybe if everyone sings it~~my mother will find me.

To be sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey:

I'm just a white gosling, I've never been bad.
I search for my mother: I search for my dad.

   Yes, I am an orphan, which oft is okay,
   But I need the love from my parents today.

When I broke my egg ope' inside our warm nest
I thought with my parents I'd surely be blest.

   But life can be hard, yes, and life can be mean:
   My mommy and daddy were not to be seen.

If I could but find them, I'd flap wings with joy,
I'd wiggle my tail like a little goose toy.

   I'm sure my mom loves me; oh, why would she not?
   I'm handsome and gallant, and never a snot.

If I could but find her, my it would be sweet!
Then I'd know for sure that my life was complete.

   And as for my daddy, with candor I speak,
   I feel he's a gander with a handsome beak.

What happened while nesting? Oh, where did they go?
Did some big fox eat them? Please say it ain't so!

   I feel in my feathers that they are not gone.
   That they're looking for me, from dusk until dawn.

If I could but find them, oh how we would play!
We'd honk old-time goose songs throughout the whole day.

   We'd swim in the mill race, we'd dive in the pond,
   We'd eat some dried corn, and we'd finally bond.

We'd sleep in our nests snug, when daylight is done,
We'd sleep in the knowledge, our family is one.

   Oh, where are you Mother? Oh, where are you Dad?
   My life without parents is terribly sad.

If you read this poem, please come find me here.
I'm Bob, your sweet gosling, I'm Bob, your sweet dear.

   My people are gen'rous, they feed me real well,
   If you come to live here, they'll treat you just swell.

So that is my story, it's straight from my heart.
I hope you can find me, and-never we'll part.

   A goose needs his family, through thick and through thin.
   Please come home and find me. Oh, where have you been?

My song I must close now, my sad tale is done.
Please Mother and Father, come home to your son!

Until next time . . .

Monday, April 1, 2013

Always go deep on April first . . .

That much dreaded day, April first, arrived with cold pink clouds passing quickly through the tree tops along the riverbank. Far off I could hear mass songs of feathered friends singing to the morning, a morning that may be the last for some of our finned friends. No feathered friends have checked out potential nesting homes--seems late to me. Pilgrim, my very dearest friend, has already laid an egg.

   Back from her winter home, Miss Harriet Blue Heron, looking very fine in her long gray feathers, came this morning for the first day of FISHING SEASON. Well, for her it is survival and she is thankful. We understand. When she catches a little fish, we all bow to that fish who gives its life.

   FISHING SEASON, oh dear. . . . Lewis Trout has gone deep but not before he did his best to gather his young inexperienced trout friends to safe areas away from clear pools. "Fishing" . . . what a terrible word. An activity that is said to be FUN--not to Lewis. Lewis got caught once by a terrible smelly man wearing long green boots wading in the creek. Cecil should have bit him! Lewis was caught on a line with a very sharp hook--it painfully pierced his lip. Lewis fought hard, he leapt in the air, he flailed. he was mercilessly grabbed by a hard calloused hand whose face was grinning with a bit spit drooling down the corner of his mouth, and thrown without respect onto the riverbank TO DIE! He lay gasping for air, losing strength fast, gills fighting for breathe, heart beating hard . . . he flopped and flopped and with one last chance effort flopped back into the creek. He was weak, in pain, bleeding, lip torn . . . just dreadful! He still bears the scares of that awful day. "Catch-and-release"--and it is all for FUN?!--poor Lewis.

   Remember avoid open clear pools and always go deep on April first.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Flying deer, really!?

We have had our first snow--it was beautiful--the beauty did not last--beauty never does but it has a way of popping up when you least expect it. Be watchful, it's a gift.

The Muscovy family has decided to move upstream with us--very friendly but really, they ruin the ambience with their rather strange colored feathers and heads. I am not sure if they are pretending to be a Christmas tree or road kill. I can handle it--they are happy, helpful and never eat too much corn.

Well, I saw something very strange the other day. Flying deer--they looked like deer but were flying! I was shocked. I have heard of such things usually in association with a large fat man dressed in red! These eight deer were alone and headed north, maybe they were on a special mission. It was very mysterious! If you see them around the night of the 24th let me know--I will be keeping watch.

Did you know at midnight on the 24th all of us along the riverbank bow our heads in remembrance of that special night so long ago, when all the animals became silent, and snuggled close, in peace and there was no fear or hunger or sadness. Peace visited that night, the first Christmas. Peace came softly like a falling snowflake. Let yourself enjoy a restful peace--think kind thoughts of others, hold a paw, and snuggle in and eat a little corn.

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


REAL SCARED!!! I have been hearing very strange sounds at night! It sounds much like low groans--then repeated rumbles and short screams! the wind has been high in the trees. I have seen very large dark shadows moving through the trees--cold chilling movement. I AM SCARED! Cecil has gone
deep into the creek. Gizmo won't come out of his hole. Huge turkeys have been hanging high in the trees, swaying. I have not seen Miss Prunella in weeks. I don't know . . . I am not getting much sleep. I am going down stream!--I know I shouldn't.

Oh . . . have you ever had a feeling you have lost time? Well, I went down stream, at least I think I did, but somewhere along the way I lost some time. I was there and I wasn't!

     I struggled back to Gizmo's hole and stuck my head down--he said he has seen very strange lights in the sky moving in formation! And just that morning he had awakened to a crop circle in the shape of a very long necked creature! He said I looked bad. My neck hurts--kind of stiff. Gizmo suggested I might have encountered an alien! An alien what?! He says he thinks I was abducted! . . . and an implant was put in my neck! Do you know anyone who has a strange lump somewhere? Oh . . . oh . . . where is Cecil when I need him?!

     Gizmo, do you really think I am being controlled by aliens? GIZMO, where are you going? don't leave!!!!!

     He just shook his head, I saw his lip curl! IS THIS TRUE? I feel very strange . . . very strange . . . maybe I better go eat some corn, it always helps. My poor neck. . . Be very very careful tonight, there are dangerous creatures about!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's getting cooler!!!!!!

A dear friend . . .

I have a dear friend who has a very special day today!!!


We are all flapping our wings for you! and switching our tails! Tonight some goose friends will do a "fly over"--hope you can hear them! Listen hard! 

It is getting cooler! The leaves have just a touch of color . . . I don't think they will be glorious this year because of the summer drought. But is it important to be "glorious"? . . . I guess if you are a leaf and this is your only chance, it might be. But a drab brown leaf can be beautiful inside and do wonderful things. I love to kick dry fall leaves and make paths. I am wondering if the Man With The Long Blue Apron will set out pumpkins to roll and play ball with and then EAT!

I admit I am feeling a bit of melancholy--winter is coming and it is always hard for us on the riverbank. By spring we will all be different, at least those who survive the cold and hunger. Some of us will feel a bit more stiff and old. Predators have been perusing the area even now, it is always hard. Miss Sophie Goose was attacked two weeks ago--she was a bloody mess. She could barely hold her head up but at least made it to the corn pile where the Man With The Long Blue Apron gathered her bloodied battered body in his arms and carried her into the mill. He bathed her wounds, stroked her, applied antiseptic, and wiped her tears. She got warm cracked corn for several days, we all fussed over her. So you can see fall is a bit solemn, a time to reflect and be thankful for the summer abundance and for all our friends, and to hold hope and faith in our hearts.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Serious Cloud Came By . . .

. . . and we needed its visit. It was not the kind that drifts, or sleeps, or puffs itself up. I am thankful for its soft misty gift. It has been very dry, making foraging for worms a challenge for all of us. Even Lewis Trout has been disappointed by too few flies.

     The moss has been resting patiently through the drought. What pleasure to wiggle my toes in soft moist thick moss. Moss can manage on a little night time dew. The precious little waterbear that live  in the moss have been forced to pull in their tiny arms and legs to survive. Sometimes it is a great advantage in being very small. They are among the tiniest voices in the moss.


   Gizmo has been gathering moss for carpeting his floors, walls, and for insulation. He says he is preparing early for winter. When spring comes he will bring it back out to once again grow.

   Gizmo is hoping to find a friend to spend the winter with him. I don't know, he is a bit of a "flea bag". Lately he has been taking dinner with Miss Clovis at sunset. It was going pretty well until SHE got HIS fleas! It was terrible for a beautiful brown rabbit to be crawling with fleas. Gizmo said they were not his fleas that  a band of rats had been through leaving fleas everywhere. I wish they would go south!! They said it's a drought and they will go where the corn is---HERE!!!!! no-no-no!!!!!!

So, with help from Miss Prunella, and my flock we rolled Miss Clovis through the mint patch, through the thyme, into the veronica, passed the water cress and into the creek where Cecil  pulled her by her tail to and fro through the rapid current and finally to shore. She is now a fresh sweet bunny ready for a sun bath and a full stamping with my feet to massage her back. No more fleas, and no more visits with Gizmo. I think he likes fleas.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Keeping eggs secret!!!

I am content most of the time with where I live and who I am but sometimes I wish I could lay an egg. I admire the shape and subtle colors.  Pilgrim, my dearest friend lays them. When she lays an egg we all gather about her to cheer her. I told you my first home was an egg and most uncomfortable and cramped. Did you know I could hear everything through that shell? In fact I could hear the voices of my family humming encouragement. My orange feet got so big one day I just pecked out! And my new life began.

Nests are everywhere long the riverbank holding precious treasures. Some nests are now empty. Eggs must be kept secret and protected. Everyone loves eggs and for different reasons. Miss Scarlet had a nest by the mill front door in the ivy but one night the eggs disappeared and so did she! Cecil loves to steal eggs and EAT them!--how could he do that?!!! And, I ask, do you eat eggs for breakfast?!

Robin whom we call Plum built a very messy grass and mud nest over the back mill door and, I thought, well protected, where she placed three beautiful blue eggs with much happiness and pride. She sang every morning and night, and made us feel that all was well in the world.

It seems she was being watched by two very large black crows who flew in every day to check on these precious hatchlings. One morning while returning to her next she saw them taking her babies away in their beaks. It was terrible--the cries and screams. Plum's heart was breaking, we all gathered to help but it was hopeless.

How could Plum ever sing us awake in the morning again or find peace or joy? I brought her a fat worm and a kernel of corn and laid them by the door, I hope she found them. I ambled back to the creek distraught with sad and empty feelings . . . all of us feel the delicate, fragileness of life. I was glad when night came.

The next morning I was surprised to be awakened by her clear voice once again singing to the first light of day. In all of her loss she said she had hope, she would lay another egg, that life is good. She said we have to rejoice every day, be thankful for the warm sun, the soft rains, the smell of flowers, fresh fat worms. Life is precious even if it is a small tiny one.  This time she laid four eggs in the same nest. But she never again sang by the nest--she would keep it secret. They grew, and just last week they flew away to a new place. She promised us that before winter comes she will return and sing us a song.

So . . . remember eggs are precious, and you may be surprised who comes out of one!

Until next time . . .

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Did you see me?!

It's me from London!!! Did you see me with THE Queen? What a wonderful day!

   My misty foggy Sunday morning began once again with the arrival of the man with the white gloves carrying a silver tray laden with water cress, fresh herbs, and tea to my bedside, was that grand? He said to hurry! . . . everyone was mustering up for the ride to the Queen's barge, Spirit of Chartwell. He said not to forget my corn sack and my 'brellie, looks like "fowl" weather. Accompanied by some silly ducks we were last to leave the palace.

   Oh, my! We hurried as fast as we could but we missed the boat?! Have you ever missed the boat?! Well, I was not to be left behind--away we went into the Thames in a cloud of duck feathers! Paddle fast . . . it's a long way! With occasional bumps with boats we paddled on. Ok, we flew abit! The ducks pointed to a bridge and explained it was the Tower Bridge and the Queen would be there in her barge.

   I am amazed so many people were floating about like ducks and geese--really! They should have feathers! I wonder when I get home if we could do this sort of riparian flotilla? Can you imagine all us geese, ducks, and turtle all floating down stream in procession with garlands of flowers waving our wings to the tune of "Hail to the Goose"! Oh my . . . what a dream!

   I paddled over to the Queen's barge and saw her lovely kind face looking at me. She invited me aboard to rest and have some warm chamomile tea down below deck with her . . . only for a moment. She had a gift for me--a Jubilee compass to replace the one I lost! Now I will always find my way home!

   Home--I am getting terribly homesick, you know that terrible, empty feeling? Perhaps it's time to go.

   I reached up to the queen and wrapped my wings about her in a farewell. She was so kind and generous to me. I made my way back to the palace garden to say good bye to Swan Nelson and Swan Emma who were in repose.

   The man with the white gloves made arrangements for a Royal Air Force Plane to fly me to Canada where a flock of Canada geese would escort me home. I am not so good on long flights by myself. An evening flight with my compass and the stars.
   Good bye, England!
    Long live the Queen!!

   Home--the riverbank, Pilgrim, Hazel, flea bag Gizmo, and into a fresh bed of soft moss and corn and to dream.

Until next time . . .

Friday, June 1, 2012

THE Queen meets Bob

My night in the palace was the darkest I ever experienced; strange sounds, long black shadows and an occasional tickle on my feathers made me burrow deeper under the covers. Was that a moan I heard?! Will morning ever come?! What am I doing here? Gizmo--is this another trick?! Is this a dream? With a rumbling tummy and in need of a bath--things just didn't seem right. "Queen, Queen" . . . the words on my beak before I fell into a deep sleep.

Morning came--FINALLY! I slipped out of bed to be greeted by a man with white gloves. I couldn't understand him--I told him I was an invited quest of "Queen" and could I please have my breakfast of water cress and mint tea in bed? "Aren't you Lord Wakefield?" "No, I am Bob from America and I was invited to a garden party." "I am sorry that was two days ago. Your name is not familiar to me, is it Prince Bob?"--"sounds good to me!" "I will have to call the palace guard and have you removed!"

"Queen, Queen, Queen"--"That will not help! Take your odious corn sack and LEAVE!"

I flew badly out the palace doors--losing my compass! It was hard to see anything through my tears! I was never invited and no one likes me. Gizmo, that old flea bag, played a trick on me!

Feeling perfectly miserable, I sat down by the pond to gather my feathers under me, and try to think of what to do. In seeing my distress, Nelson Swan and Emma Swan showed me a bit of kindness. They asked what my name was---"Bob, just Bob." They put their big broad wings about me and wiped my tears. Oh my, oh dear.

Suddenly there was was a rush of wind and leaves, and a troop of corgis came bouncing toward me, chasing me to and fro--I screamed "Queen"! Then in a determined fashion I turned and faced them--I feared this was my end!

I looked up into the face of a lady with kind eyes looking down at me. She said corgis don't realize they should FOLLOW a queen. It's her!!!!!! Queen, THE Queen! I made a curtsy as best I could. My eyes hurt from my tears. She asked my name. She said all animals are special and good, and she especially liked me. I offered her some of my corn from my sack, she accepted it. She said I was a good goose--and that I could stay with the swans as long as I want. I explained I had work to do at home--at that she invited me to a special day with her on the Thames. I could accompany her on her Jubilee flotilla! "Oh, YES, please--and maybe the swans too?" "Their job is at the palace. I will have the butler call for you early Sunday."

"Now, Bob, just KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!"

Until next time . . .