Personal Development and Spirituality Topics

with Karen Scheel

Goose Lucy’s Life With LC

Let Nature Take Its Course? continues with chapter two… It did not take long before Lucy taught LC that I could be somewhat trusted. But he was not at all happy when she totally blew him off for me, and tried his best to intervene. He sounded off with loud honks, stretched his neck to shake his head in her face, and even used his body to try and block her path, but each loud honk from him was countered with some grumbles from her. After a few of these verbal exchanges, she went out of her way to walk in a large semicircle around him to get to me. He initially seemed a bit shocked then embarrassed that she had not listened to him, which was so funny to see.

There is another goose couple here that I was initially calling “The Lucy pretenders” because the female mimics Lucy. This pretender female is the same size and color with a very similar energy. The only way that I could tell which female was in front of me was by stepping back and taking a look at the underside of the belly – Lucy is shaped differently. This method of differentiating the two females went on until I noticed the male pretender provided a very clear way for me to know. In addition to having what can be best described as a small pearl necklace at the very base of his long black neck, he is also missing a section of web between his second and third toes. His new name is “2-web,” and thanks to his feet it is easy to know who is who. Although, LC makes it even easier with that big mouth of his!

Normally when Lucy comes to my house to eat there has not been one other goose in sight, but as soon as LC opens his mouth, they all come. In addition to being friendlier than LC, 2-web is also the most dominant male gander with all the flocks. LC seems to rank second or third in command depending on what flocks are here. Additionally, LC is either irritating by nature or goes out of his way to try and irritate 2-web (and me). He just does not get that whenever he opens his big mouth he and Lucy lose out. 2-web always shows up and claims the feeding area. I decided to feed both couples, which worked until the other flocks began to return. LC and 2-web can hold their own but being caught in the middle of an arguing crowd is not something Lucy seems to want, and she usually ends up running for cover. One morning the food had just been put out, and Lucy wasted no time in removing herself as soon as the “LC food bell” began to sound. I have witnessed several occasions when LC ran honking after her to stop her. She initially did listen but the day came when she began to force chases through the woods to get away from any trouble that may have been following his mouth. Lately, she has not been coming to my house so I go to her. I have also resumed my guard duties at times, because it’s a given that LC is going to call attention to himself (and to her).

The change in her behavior may have stemmed from two particularly unpleasant experiences in her life as a goose. The first experience involved a near downing on the pond. The females pick their spot and the males defend it. The female pretender must have decided she wanted Lucy’s so she moved in one morning and moved Lucy out. Therefore, I had initially thought I was watching LC in action but turns out it was fact 2-web that came flying out of this area one afternoon to go to work on the pond. He did not mess around – every goose in sight was sunk. Watching him was truly mesmerizing, and it took a few minutes before I realized there were no other geese were on the pond except one which 2-web was very focused on – too focused. It seemed as though he was trying to drown this goose. Every time it surfaced, 2-web was right there to knock it back under the water. I yelled at him, because this goose was clearly trying to escape. The goose was slammed back down one final time. It did not resurface. I stood looking at the water not knowing what to do. I was very relieved when I saw this goose emerge at the far end of the pond and exit from the water as quickly as it could. Until this day, I never knew geese could hold their breath and swim underwater for that long. In retrospect and based on Lucy’s change in behavior soon after this exchange, she was probably one 2-web had sunk while he was trying to drown LC.

This second occurrence is probably what convinced Lucy it was best to bypass coming to my house. LC’s mouth inevitably brought all of the geese to Lucy’s feeding area one morning. Rather than be cool when 2-web showed up and chased him off, LC decided to go after 2-web’s mate. Big no-no. 2-web initially hesitated. It was as if he could not believe what he was seeing and did a double take but within a matter of seconds, he was in flight. I heard pounding of wings, loud honks and then saw LC running all over the place. Lucy must have known what LC was up to even before 2-web, because she had taken off and was running as fast as she could for the nursery next door. She was almost there when 2-web’s mate turned the corner just in time to see her retreating. She instantly flew after Lucy, and I took off running after her in my pajamas. But I wasn’t as fast and could only yell when Pretender landed on her back. Needless to say, there was whole lot of honking, yelling, and chasing going on around here, and I am so glad that no workers from the nursery heard or saw me! Can say, the females are not usually inclined to fight; therefore, 2-web’s mate must have been getting even with LC who could do absolutely nada to help, because 2-web was keeping him quite occupied. And I did not feel at all sorry for LC – was actually kind of glad to see him getting checked because I would so love to slap him upside his little head sometimes. Initially, I was happy a companion had come for Lucy. However, I have been wondering where this goose really did come from and think he just might be the goose from hell! I would also be willing to bet that he was probably thrown out of whatever flock he was with before he showed up here. The boy is trouble to say the least. There is no doubt he wants to be the dominant male. But this is not gonna happen unless something happens to 2-web, which I hope never does. Unlike LC, 2-web is a very great goose, polite and gentle. He also seems to understand what you are saying, which has led me to believe he might be the goose I spoke to that night on Lucy’s behalf.

In any event, the beginning of mating season has arrived. All but Lucy and LC took their turns on the pond one morning. When the females begin to bob, the males take their cue and climb on the back of the female for like 30 seconds. This act concludes with a little bite on the neck and some preening afterward. It looks like there will be at least three couples raising their goslings here this year. Lucy will come into season, but I have recently learned geese usually do not mate or have a hatch until the second or third year. Although, I did see her with her tail up in the air, and LC was interested enough to swim over, but they did not do the deed. Things will become a bit clearer soon enough because her frame is small and a pregnancy should be quite obvious – that is if she has more than one or two. And last but not least, I am so hoping we get no more snow, because only a crazy person would shovel a path from her house all the way down and around the pond for a goose, which has been done twice now. But all of the geese are using it.  🙂

Canada Geese Series Continues – Goose Lucy and LC Update