As I was getting Bip dressed this morning, I looked out the window and saw geese! Our backyard opens into a small grassy field and a baseball field. The geese were actually in the baseball field, but it was still cool to see. After breakfast I got the camera and took some pictures.
I like this guy standing on the pitcher’s mound.
Knowing absolutely nothing about geese and being the good homeschooling mom that I am, I promptly looked these guys up in my field guide. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds tells me that this geese are Canada Geese, having a brownish body with black head, long black neck and conspicuous white cheek patch. They live near lakes, bays, rivers and marshes. You may remember that we live about 2 blocks away from the Potomac River, so this isn’t actually the first time we’ve seen geese here. We see them on a regular basis, usually around the grassy areas along the river. We have enjoyed watching them fly in the V-shaped formations and hearing them honking. My children have tried to get close to them, walking v-e-r-y slowly towards the flock, which in turn stands very still. The geese regard my children rather suspiciously, then moving as one, side steps away, then stops again. My children move in closer, still going slowly, the geese continue side-stepping away, then – honk, honk , honk! they take refuge in the river. It’s a pretty amusing scene to watch.This is the first time I’ve seen them in the housing area, but according the field guide, it may not be the last. Apparently, Canada geese are “especially noticeable in later summer and early fall, when they form molting flocks on golf courses and large lawns…” Well, that explains the baseball field. But is it late summer already?
After I loaded the geese pictures on to my computer, I thought they would make a good start to my nature journal. I want to get a head start on mine so the children can see one in person before starting their own. As luck would have it the book A Pocketful of Pinecones arrived from Amazon.com today. It is a fictional account of a mother in the 1930s as she goes through the first year of homeschooling her two children. She is following the works of Charlotte Mason, and the book focuses on the children’s nature studies and journal. I’m already several pages into it and enjoying it very much.