LG the super protective, hissing, clicking gander has done his job. Princess hatched out 4 little goslings yesterday afternoon--two boys and two girls. They are cute as can be and she is very proud of them. The one you can see clearly is a little girl with a gray bill and eyes. The one Princess is grooming is a little boy with an orange bill and blue eyes. An advantage to Pilgrim geese is that one can determine the sex from the moment the gosling hatches. The other two goslings are under Princess. We got a good look at all of them this morning. She now has the hard work of getting them off the top of the two hay bales and down to the ground so she can feed and water them. She and LG also have to protect them from the cats and the most dangerous risk of all--cold, wet weather. To help her, we put food and water for them on the floor of the hay shed.
We have a lovely young goose which has established a nest with 9 beautiful white eggs on top of two hay bales in our hay shed. We also store our grain in the same shed. Princess (the goose on the hay bales--named after the Princess and the Pea) is very tame and I feed her every morning by hand. There is another lovely nest with no eggs in it on the floor of the hay shed. Why is no bird using it? Occasionally I find some chicken eggs in it, but it is big enough for and made by a goose. Yesterday, I was feeling around in the floor nest to see if there were any eggs when this dark, black headed heat seeking missile came shooting in aimed directly at me. It was LG, who likes me very much. He recognized me and shot under a wall and out without touching or scolding me. This morning I was in the shed fixing breakfasts for the various birds when Princess let out two loud honks. LG, in missile mode, was in the building in a flash. He dashed past me and attacked a female goose on the floor nest. He went after her head and literally was beating her to bits, when she gave up and shot under the wall. LG jumped up on the bale with Princess and asked to be fed. I fed them and slowly realized that Princess is LGs goose. No other goose is allowed in the shed--that is why there are no goose eggs in the beautiful big nest on the floor. The Canada goose below is LG, skulking around in front of the hay shed. The white gander is his buddy and helps him protect Princess.
While doing chores this morning, I noticed that the boys (our alpacas--Machu and Picchu) were staring at something. I suddenly realized that I left the gate into our yard open and they were contemplating escape. It would be from one confined space into another, but it would be different space! Yeah! I rushed over and closed the gate. A few minutes later I heard Libby barking and acting weird. I looked into the yard and there she was, trying to get the alpacas back into their field. She sat like a good girl when I asked her to.
The gate was open. Apparently, I didn't get it latched and the boys suffering from spring fever and very long locks tried a break. I didn't think they could hurt anything so we closed the gate and left them in the yard while we took the dogs for a walk. They (the alpacas) ran around for a few minutes, ate some fresh grass and then started exploring. When we got back, they were staring at reflections of themselves in the glass sliders of the sun room. They weren't happy! They could see two other alpacas in the windows- living in the house with us! How could we?
Spring is finally here! How do I know--the geese and ducks have started laying eggs! Oh boy! The first goose egg was in a hen's nest sitting on top of three little brown eggs. I took it and put it in the refrigerator (see above). She apparently didn't like it so she built a new nest. It is a massive construction that must have taken her a good deal of time. She went into the hay shed and pulled hay out of an unbroken hay bale. She took about a fourth of it for her nest. When I looked into it, I didn't see any egg, but there was one--the big white one on top of the pile above-hidden lovingly, I suppose in the hay. I stole it, too. The small white eggs in the picture above are duck eggs and the brown ones are chicken eggs.
Carrying the warm goose egg in my hand and thinking about all the egg in it made me start wondering why the term "goose egg" stood for "a bump on the head" or "nothing." After considerable research, the answer was not satisfactory. The term is used because a 0 on a scoreboard looks like an egg. In England, they say duck egg--to one up our British cousins we use the phrase "goose egg." And, I guess, a bump on the head must feel and/or look big. Hmmmm!
Before we all forget the deep snow we had a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would post this picture of deep drifts and the poor freezing geese. They are greeting me at the gate to the barnyard. The drift was up to my thigh. The bottom of the chicken house (building to the left) windows are at about chin level. During the cold snap the geese spent the night on the pond (we kept the aerator running to try to keep it from freezing) and water would freeze in their feathers. When they came up to the house their feathers would clink and rustle like glass chandeliers.
Enjoy the warm weather this weekend! We intend to!
This is my photo of Pretty Darn Fabulous (PDF), a beautiful and easy to make sweater once you get the computer sizing and cast on done. The cast on is on the back just below the armhole using Judy's Magic Cast On with two needles. Part of the stitches are put on holders for the sleeves and the top of the sweater is knit in the round using the two needles. This part is great-no purls, just round and round. The second step separates the neck-the top of the shoulders and the back of the neck from the rest. One needle is used to do the main part of the body in a more traditional back and forth. The hood and sleeves are done after the body is completed. The design is quite intriguing and gives the sweater a lovely shape. The PDF pictured below is knit with Schoppel Zauberwolle. I will be ordering some on February 15, so it has plenty of time to get here before the PDF knit along starts the first of March. Jodie Lucas will be hosting the KAL with videos and other support. If you are interested in ordering a special color, please come in and look at the color card. We also have $2.00 off coupons for the PDF sweater here at the store. Come in and check out the model. Everyone who has seen it loves it.
I will also be ordering the yarn for the next KAL with Michelle Hunter. It starts the first Thursday in April.
The pink and red partial sweater is my PDF sweater. I like it so much I think I will make another with the Zauberwolle.
Isn't it lovely! This is my version of the KnitPurlHunter/Skacel January Mystery KAL at the end of the second week. I am pleased as punch with my results! The back (week 3) will be just as splendid and we are supposed to learn a new way of binding off (week 4). Hopefully, it will be as pretty as the Kitchener stitch and easier to do. I can hardly wait to finish and wear this cowl. My second one is already under consideration--I have the yarn purchased and wound--but my needles are still in this one!
We have had our first cold days and Tuesday morning it was especially cold. The geese were like moving, walking, ice figures they had so much ice frozen in their feathers, but their voices were in fine form. They were all running around trying to knock the food out of my hand or maybe just queuing up for a handout, when we heard one calling from the pond. We looked down there and saw 3 young males running around the pond. They hurried up to get their grub, but the strange calling continued. It sounded like a desperate cry--a goose calling for help? None of the other geese paid a bit of attention, especially not the three young ones. We went down to the pond and there was our poor victim. He was stranded on the ice. He apparently got out on the ice, lost his footing and couldn't get up again. He was most pathetic. He was close to shore so we tried to reach him with a net. That didn't work! Then we tried throwing sticks behind him. No good! I tried throwing some food in front of him-nope! We had to come to work and leave him there. Fortunately, he figured it out and was back with his companions when we got home. The incident reminded me of Flick in " A Christmas Story" which we watched over the holidays. Flick is dared to stick his tongue onto a metal flag pole when it is below zero. His tongue gets stuck! His friends abandon him when the bell rings. The teacher asks "Where is Flick?" His friends response is "Flick, Flick, who!" as they try to look totally innocent. We have named out poor boy "Fliclk" because his buddies acted exactly the same way.