Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Parents

Raising a family is life's most challenging undertaking. While we may be equipped with basic instincts for the job, the variables are many and the outcome uncertain. Most parents are loving and attentive with their offspring although our human array of emotions, learned behaviours and cultural influences greatly impact the final product. Good parents are not perfect parents but they do their best.

It is hard to believe that the Canada Goose was on the verge of extinction at the turn of the 20th century. Through the efforts of Jack Miner of Kingsville, Ontario, they were protected and have made an amazing comeback. Most would consider Jack's efforts too successful. Grandma D. used to visit Jack Miner's bird sanctuary in the spring*. It is a short distance from Point Pelee and I would have liked to stop there this past weekend to see where Grandma birded. However, Point Pelee National Park was more than enough to explore in two days.

One does not have to travel far to find Canada Geese. There are many in the city and now is the busy season of caring for newly hatched goslings. One cannot find more attentive parents. Both male and female, who mate for life, are actively involved in guarding the nest and caring for their large broods. They can be very aggressive with their posturing and hisses when you approach their young. As annoying and dirty as geese can be in our parks, trails and golf courses, their offspring are very cute indeed.

These birds continue to be protected and our municipality tries to control their numbers by oiling eggs and transporting city geese to outlying areas. Because they are common and easily recognized, they are popular with many children and adults alike.

As well as trying to be a good parent, I am also trying to be a good citizen and have just finished filing our income tax returns. The tax deadline in Canada is April 30th so my Point Pelee pictures and posts had to take a back burner for the time being. Spring is a busy time of year for everyone it seems!

*Follow this link to an older post about Grandma's visits to Lake Erie.


  1. The geese, especially their babies, are SO photogenic!

    We filed our tax a couple of weeks ago. We use U-File and it works very well. I already have a small refund back but D had to pay ... for all his summer contract work!

  2. Yes, we too find our local geese are overwhelming us...and often destroying habitat for rails and other waterfowl with their cow like grazing.

    That said, it is nice that they are abundant enough that children can see them in local parks and such. Anything to get a new birder hooked.

    Glad we found your blog...

  3. What lovely pictures! Were you really close, or do you have a powerful zoom?

  4. I also have very mixed feelings about Canada Geese, but I agree they and their goslings are beautiful. Nice photographs.

  5. Your first photo is so precious! Great series and things to think about.
    I know Geese make a big mess on the ground..everyone gotta go somewhere..right..Its doesn't really bother me..
    I enjoy seeing them..and I am happy they aren't declining in numbers and someone had the forethought to protect them..

  6. Since I've moved back to this neck of the woods I haven't been to Miner's; and only remember it from going there with my scout troop decades ago.

    (and yes, you can wave at my house on the way to PP, it's on the road!)

  7. The first pic is sooo precious. Babies of any species are cute!

  8. I guess we could learn alot from the geese.They truely are great parents.

  9. Canada Geese were on the verge of extinction?! That's unbelievable. We're overrun by them, but usually just in the parks. I love watching them.

  10. Great Goslings! How sweet is that first picture. Yes the canadian goose is overwhelming, but in every species, including humans there will always be somebody that wishes they were not here. I would rather keep the goose, then some human kind...who are particlarly not kind.

    Taxes are done...we scored and received a refund...or is it a reward?

  11. Ruth,

    Beautiful photos of the geese and goslings. I would love to take a trip to Point Pelee and also the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary.

    I really need to get my taxes done. I detest it, but usually have it sent long ago. This year I'm way behind. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. Ruth the goslings are adorable. You are so right about parenting and just doing the best we can. It's really too bad kids don't come with an instruction manual.

    UGH, taxes.

  13. Ruth, this is a wonderful post on parenting of the human and bird type. Your pictures are wonderful.
    Hmmm....maybe next time I'm out I'll find a housesit around Point Pelee Prov. Park. I have never been there, read lots about it though and actually did a school paper on Jack Miner way back when!
    My flight west is tomorrow...this morning at 7 a.m.
    Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  14. They are good parents for sure. And the ducklings are adorable.

    We also use TurboTax and do the eFile... so much easier.

  15. I didn't realize that they almost became extinct. Curse that Jack Miner! Just kidding. ;)

  16. Howdee..Ruth..I came back to ask if you took that little gosling photo..and these photos from this post with the Canon Sx10..
    great shots.

  17. Dawn- 99% of my bird pictures including the goslings here are taken with the CanonSX10IS. Most of my flower shots are taken with the smaller Canon SD850IS

  18. Thanks to all who stopped by and commented. I finished our taxes today and e-filed them. Now I can do some blog reading.

  19. Hi Ruth,

    You brought me back fond memories of the Best Canadian White Christmas I ever had. I was new to Canada from borneo. My room mate from the Windsor University invited me home to spend Christmas with her family.

    One occasion, her dad took me to see the Canadaian Geese. It was so awesome, I could never forget the sight of the geese on the ice.

    I have lost contact with her, and wonder if the parents still live in Kingsville.




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