This past week we have seen a broad range of weather, from the warmest day of the year so far to some more snow. Welcome to spring where each and every day is a bit different. As I was working in the backyard this past week, I was reminded that there are things to take a time out for and just sit to appreciate. It is a great reminder as we get into the new gardening season because we can get too busy working on things and not spend enough time relaxing and enjoying what surrounds us.
My resident geese, as I call them, have returned for the eleventh year in a row. They have the same routines each and every year and always swim by to check where the dogs are. The last couple of years have been easier on them as there are less days that the dog is tied to the tree to bark at them. Last year they became so tame that they were within five feet of me while I cleaned out the gardens. They watched me worked as I watched them feeding on the lawn. To me, that is just the essence of living in harmony with nature.
Many people find geese a nuisance as they can be loud, they can be aggressive when they have young and they tend to make a mess wherever they go. I have found most people who do not like their presence are also people who find a great deal to complain about day in and day out without much thought. I know the biggest concern to people is that they tend to poop quite a bit. This isn’t just an assumption, but a fact. The average adult goose can consume up to four pounds of grass a day and eliminate nearly three pounds in excrement. Keep in mind that 77% of this is water and the rest blends into the green coloring of the lawn. If you were to convert this to fertilizer, it would result in a 2-4-2 mixture. This is a very mild type of fertilizer and is completely natural. I can attest that you will never see a brown lawn where there are geese and I would much rather have natural product in my yard than all of the artificial stuff you can buy in the store. Plus, they mow the lawn while they are at it. OK, I still have to mow, but I enjoy having them around.
In about a month, they will be having their young and will show them off shortly after they hatch. They usually have anywhere from five to twelve little ones. Some of these will survive and others will not due to natural elements and predators. I will remind you that the parents are quite watchful and do not take kindly to strangers or other animals in their space. They will hiss and chase you if they have the opportunity.
When I was young, we used to raise geese and they were closer to our pets than anything. You could sit in the chair outside and call them and they would come running. Some would even be comfortable enough to jump up into your lap and have a seat while they nuzzled your ear. They made great watch dogs and any delivery driver that came to our place would tell you that it only took one time to have the flock chase you. From that point on, they would drive in, honk the horn and wait for someone to come out and grab the package from the safety of their vehicle.
I have found myself on numerous occasions, sit down in the yard while they come close and just watch them and enjoy their company. Sometimes they stay around for a short spell and other times they will spend an hour. They are close to the water and can make a quick exit at any time without issue. Sometimes you have to watch where you sit in the lawn, but after a quick rain, that all dissolves away.
Geese may not be your thing of enjoyment, but maybe there are other visitors that come into your yard that you enjoy more. Maybe it is a woodpecker, or a duck or just a multitude of other bird species. All command our attention to take a time out so we can relax and be a part of nature’s activities.
The next time you get a visitor in your yard, take the time out and enjoy it for what it is worth. You will be glad you did as it can be very grounding. Maybe that visitor happens to be a person across town or just a friendly neighbor. The same attention should be granted them as these times go by way too quickly.
Gear up for the season in the right manner. A good balance of work and relaxation will make for a very rewarding time.