Max and I see Canada geese every time I take him walking at the community college. They honk at Max, and we keep our distance from them in case they decide to protect their territory from us!

I was reminded of a time about 6 or 7 years ago when I was still teaching my high school special education class, and when the first pair of Canada geese found the retention pond at our school. I took my kids out to observe those geese every day, marking down what time we saw them and what they were doing. We took photos and made posters, and we looked at geese in bird books we found in the school library. The most exciting thing that spring was when the geese built a nest (conveniently close to the fence around the retention pond in terms of our goose observations) and they hatched 6 babies.

I looked back and found a couple of old photos I took of the mother goose with the goslings that spring. Here’s mama goose with 5 of her babies–one was straggling behind, out of camera range.


And here’s mama goose leading all 6 on a swim in the pond.


And a young goose observer with his clipboard, keeping a cautious distance from the goose family on the other side of the fence.


As time went on the goose population grew larger each year, until they began to be a nuisance. But I still remember that first year, which was one of my last years of teaching, and the kids’ excitement with our goose project.