Beyond the BackyardLake Morton

Another Tale of Father Goose

Regular readers of my blog may remember Father Goose.  He (she?) is a goose at Lake Morton who befriends the Muscovy Ducks each spring when their babies hatch.  I’m not sure where the Muscovy dads are, but they don’t seem to be much involved in raising the brood of youngsters.  Enter “Father” Goose, the lonely goose who arrived at Lake Morton several years ago and never quite fit in with the rest of the geese. So he hangs out with Mama Muscovy and the babies, taking a sweet interest in protecting them from all harm.  Any time a heron or egret approaches, the goose chases him away.  I’m sure Mama Muscovy appreciates the help – she has lots of babies!

Watching Over the Family
Watching Over the Family

This year I went to Lake Morton right before the Mayfaire by the Lake art festival, and I found Father Goose hanging out with a family of eleven Muscovy babies.  They couldn’t have been more than a day or two old – they were tiny!  I managed to get ten of them posed with Mama.

Mama Duck and her Babies
Mama Duck and her Babies

The Muscovy babies are constantly on the run, and they move pretty fast for tiny babies who are hardly taller than the grass!  They are challenging to photograph, especially in the low light under some of their favorite trees.  I got down on the ground with the Beast and begged them to stand still for a few minutes.  They didn’t really cooperate!  I thought it was adorable when one of them plopped down and started watching a mosquito buzzing over his head.  I was so excited when I checked the back of the camera and saw that I’d caught the moment!

Discovering the World
Discovering the World

After a while, Mama Duck led her family to a clump of reeds and let them take a nap.  After all, it’s exhausting to run around on your short legs all morning!  Father Goose stood by, making sure all was quiet and safe.

Naptime for the Little Ones
Naptime for the Little Ones

Again I laid down with my Beast lens and made some close-up images of the sleeping babies.  They were so adorable all cuddled up together!  Especially the one baby with the pink beak.  The little ones wiggled and re-arranged themselves continually, making me wonder how they ever got any rest.

All Cuddled Up Together
All Cuddled Up Together

But boy did they jump up when they heard Father Goose sound the alarm!  I’m not sure what Father Goose was worried about, and the babies settled right back down to sleep agian.

…Till Father Goose Gives the Warning Squawk!
…Till Father Goose Gives the Warning Squawk!

Here’s my favorite little baby, the one with the pink beak.  They are so cute when they are tiny like this.  By now they will have grown up a lot.  They are lucky to have a Father Goose to watch over them.

Sweet Little Pink Beak
Sweet Little Pink Beak

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