A Lovely Afternoon at Three Geese Farm

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Just outside the picture window nearest to my desk, a daylily planted a month or so ago is blooming. This variety keeps multiple blooms that last longer than the name implies. Uninvited but welcomed is a tiny daisy, a wildflower, which sprouted up in the middle of the daylily. It has white petals and a yellow button in its center. There are hundreds of these daisies growing along the hill heading down to Pancho’s Pond. We don’t mow that hill, save for a swath creating a path down to the shop/gym. I will mow the hill after the first frost this fall turns the grass brown, and the flowers have wilted.

I have noticed a change in my perspective after living at Three Geese Farm for nearly two years, a renewed appreciation of small examples of natural beauty. That tiny daisy sprouting up amid the daylily. The little black birds feasting on the feeders we dutifully fill every few days. Hummingbirds darting in for a quick sip of sugar water from the feeders my Beautiful Mystery Companion just hung. The screech of a red-tailed hawk that flies across the pond to settle in the crown of an oak tree, peering down in search of a snack. The geese squawking as they glide in for a smooth landing on Pancho’s Pond, while our donkey watches bemusedly (I think).  Two doe and a fawn sneaking across the side pasture in the early morning fog. Even the spooky wail of coyotes at night, especially if there is a full moon.

The other day I looked toward the pond and spied a white crane, probably an egret, who hangs around on occasion. A few moments later a blue heron showed up and began floating along the pond. At one point the heron quickly dipped its head into the pond, then sidled over to the egret, who was standing on the shore. It looked as if they were engaged in serious conversation. I grabbed my “real” camera, since it has a long lens and headed down the hill, aware the heron would take flight as soon as it spied me. I managed to fire off a few frames before the heron took to the sky.

Of course, I posted the photo on Facebook. It was only then that I realized, thanks to little brother Gregg’s comment, that the heron had a fish in its mouth — one of the fish with which we stocked the pond on Valentine’s Day. At least we now know the fish have gotten big enough to provide a late-afternoon snack for a blue heron. A buddy helped me fill the feeder and set the timer just last week. Looks like the feeder is working as intended.

After I posted the photo of the heron and egret shooting the breeze, a longtime friend commented, “That’s a really neat photo. Must have been nice to be able to take it.” It is nice to be able to photograph all manner of wildlife from our backyard. What is even nicer is being able to experience it, to step outside in the evening to hear the tree frogs croaking, to actually see the stars.

We moved an old wooden rocker that came from my BMC’s dad’s farm to the front porch, which looks out on about five acres of still-uncut grass, speckled with wildflowers. I sat out there in that rocker recently, watching a band of storm clouds rolling in from the north. Mollie the Maltese peeked out the front window that was partially open. She likes to keep a tab on things.

I sat and read a novel until the storm swept across the pasture, and the wind began blowing rain onto the porch. I headed inside to my desk. The egret was still down at the pond. The heron was gone. Pancho stood under a tree as it rained. Just another pleasant afternoon at Three Geese Farm.

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