The Geese Return to The Farm

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The Canada geese finally returned this week, as you can see from the photo accompanying this piece. The waterfowl in the grass is a decoy duck. And, of course, that’s Pancho in the background watching with a bemused expression. We named this place Three Geese Farm after a trio showed up last winter.

I was seated at my computer, as usual, when I heard them honking and watched them glide to a smooth landing in Pancho’s Pond. They stayed long enough for me to snap the photo, then took off again. I later headed to the feed store to get a sack of cracked corn, in hopes of enticing them to linger a bit longer. Until this week, the only regular visitor to the pond is a Great Blue Heron, who also spends some time standing motionless in the front pasture, which doesn’t have a pond.

I mentioned this to someone, the oddity of this solitary creature standing in a stand of dormant grass. “He’s hunting moles,” I was told. Excellent news, since we have a bumper crop of moles busily building tunnels all over the pasture. I have given up trying to eradicate them, since we are heavily outnumbered. You go, Great Blue Heron. I once snapped a photo of this magnificent creature in flight, having just left our pond. I posted the photo on Facebook, and little brother Gregg noted the heron had a fish between its beaks. I do not begrudge the heron an occasional fish from Pancho’s Pond but greatly prefer he catches moles.

Last summer, I noticed water bubbling up in our side yard. After not being able to figure out the source of the leak, I reluctantly called a plumber, who spent two hours digging around before he figured out the leak was actually in our only neighbor’s yard, which is slightly uphill from ours. The water was coursing through the moles’ tunnels into our yard. I called the neighbor, trudged over since he was at work, and cut off his water. Of course, I paid the plumber for his troubles. Way it goes.


I began the slow process of cleaning up the yard earlier this week, weeding the gravel pathways we had built last year, which had been commandeered by what I eventually determined, with the help of Facebook friends, is Henbit Deadnettle. Butterflies and bumblebees enjoy it, so I am leaving most of it alone for now, just clearing the pathways.

It was a warm day for early March, and I was soon drenched in sweat as I pulled weeds, hauled more river rock up to fill in bare spots, and did a bit of mowing with my toy electric push mower. After about four hours, I had finished cleaning up the front area and the east side of gravel walkways, plus about a third of the backyard. I will get back after the rest on Saturday, when the weather is supposed to drop back to more seasonal temperatures.

The Great Blue Heron must have sensed I was writing about him. When I looked out the picture window next to my desk, he was back at Pancho’s Pond, standing still and staring into the water. I suspect he is searching for lunch.


A few days earlier, I refilled the deer feeder and changed out its batteries. This involved some problem solving on my part. The sack of feed weighs 50 pounds and the feeder’s lid is well above my head, thus well above my ability (and height) to pour a sack inside. I drove out there with the tractor, shut it off, and pondered the problem. My Beautiful Mystery Companion would have been willing to help, say by lifting me up in the bucket, but I wanted to see if I could figure this out. Finally, I came up with a solution. I put the feeder container on the ground, with one of its three legs pulled off. After filling it while it was on the ground, I lifted it up by its two legs and balanced it against the forks attached to the tractor bucket. Then I reattached the third leg and carefully lowered it back to the ground. It actually worked! Thus encouraged, I took apart the fish feeder, cleaned out some crusty pellets that were blocking it from spraying feed out to the pond. It is now working properly, feeding the fish that the Great Blue Heron is patiently waiting to grab. There are four young does who enjoy grazing around the deer feeder, early mornings and in the evenings.

Just another day at Three Geese Farm.

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