Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Maryland Geese

If a goose never returns to Canada, does it deserve to be called a Canada Goose? I don't know how you tell the difference, but I think there are even two separate hunting seasons in Maryland for nonmigratory and migratory Canada Geese.

If you are a photographer taking group shots, you can organize the people in a pleasing arrangement before you shoot. Out in the wild, you have to take what you get. Once in a wild (pun intended), they arrange themselves exactly as you might have. This pyramidal grouping gives a nice broad base, implying family stability. That is my take on it anyway.

Here is another similar pyramidal arrangement. Oddly, it doesn't even seem to matter that the head of the adult in the lead isn't in the image. That is another piece of advice I would give a new photographer. Don't make assumptions about what is essential to a photograph. You would be surprised what can be left out at times.

I learned that by shooting from the hip; taking photos without looking through the viewfinder. Simply pointing the camera and pressing the shutter can produce some very dynamic, off kilter and interesting results.

There were about twenty geese, but only one pair had any goslings. Even at this young age and small size they wear huge boots. I named the one in the middle Miley Cyrus.

There are few animals that will so readily form lines as a goose — except maybe a Wildebeest. Think of how they fly in V's. They learn it early on as you can see here. Or maybe it is in their genes. If I had to guess, I would say the first goose is the female and the last is the male. The male is on constant alert in the interest of protecting his family. My guess is that the tallest goose in the first image is also the male.

All the other "childless" geese stayed out in open water, but the parents decided to take the babies into the spatterdock to either hide or rest. These goslings had to have been born close by because their wings are underdeveloped and they cannot yet fly. It will be two or more months before they can take to the air.

Here they are, slipping into the spatterdock. You can see the rear adult (or is it, the adult rear?) over on the right. If you look carefully, you can see the head of the lead adult over on the left of the photo. The spatterdock provides excellent cover from predators.

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