Ah, spring time. Longer daylights, warmer weather, budding trees, and new families. Living in the wooded area, we are used to seeing lots of animals roam the area. Just about every year during this time we are witnesses to new additions in the animal families.
Here is a family of Canada geese, proud Mom and Dad, and the chicks in tow foraging for food near our home. They are exemplary parents. Wise enough to avoid any danger and guide their young families to safety, and brave enough to defend their young with ferocity if anyone dares to get close. Just their angry hissing is sufficient to keep most predators at bay.
Invariably a few chicks don't make it. Some catch disease, others fall victims to snapping turtles or birds of prey, and some get run over by careless drivers. We have even seen swans with families of their own try to drown a few Canada goslings as they compete for lake supremacy. Those that are strong and lucky enough to survive the early hazards grow up in a short couple of months to become almost indistinguishable from their parents.
Some never migrate as there is always ample supplies of people that feed them during the brutal winter months. Cleaning up their occasional waste in the yard is no fun, but they add character to the neighborhood, and in some ways I am happy that they are around. This place just won't be the same without them.