Wednesday, March 9, 2011
There's a kind of soft quacking sound and a little splashing coming from the driveway area. Tobias is in his little "pond" first thing this morning. The night temperature stayed above freezing last night, and he's happy. As I walk by on my way to the barn, I greet him, saying "ha, ha, ha, ha". We learned to do that when he was a chick with his sister, many months ago. After any separation, no matter how short, they would happily laugh together in greeting. This morning, he laughs back at me, "hee, hee, hee", then goes back to dabbling in the pond for breakfast grain.
He takes off when I'm halfway to the barn and lands by the doors. Most mornings, he'll spend several hours with the goats, eating hay with them and just hanging out. Then he's ready to come back over to his pond for a nice, splashy bath and some corn for lunch. We keep his water just slightly warm for him and he likes his grain best when he eats it out of the water. He always appreciates a companion; luckily, our dog, Charlie, is his friend and sits near him in the driveway so that together they can watch the world go by.
We've been taking him flying as often as we can all winter, on warm days. Sometimes, he flies along beside the truck. (We have to keep our speed up around 40 mph or he passes us and then cuts in front of us. At 40, though, he seems pretty relaxed; I think he could fly faster if he wanted to.) Other times, we go along the creek on snowshoes and he waits till we get ahead a ways, then swoops past us and lands.
Obviously, Canada geese are meant to go south for the winter. Tobias showed us that quite clearly. He got bogged down in the deep snow, his feet were cold, he couldn't swim in the pond. He seemed to adjust to the cold as the winter went on, but we can see his spirits lift with every rise in temperature. Only a week or two more and his relatives will start flying over. We're looking forward to seeing him start his proper goose life, but for now we're enjoying his company and storing up memories.