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Hope Springs Eternal

Sometimes Against All Odds

Nature’s New Life Prevails

Newly hatched goslings on our family’s main pond, May 8, 2023


I’ve spent the past thirty plus years working to bring. our family’s old farm lot back to life. One major component of that effort through the years has been slowly adding a network of ponds.

Robin & I added our first pond the spring after we purchased our home. My Ford Ranger pickup truck’s transmission and rear end had been damaged in a mid-winter accident. I sold what remained of the truck for $800.00 and used the proceeds to hire a man armed with a backhoe.

I handed him the cash and said, “Here, dig me $800.00 worth of pond.”

So that’s what he did.

We dubbed it “Main Pond”.

Twenty years later, I hired another man armed with a backhoe. For $500.00 and two cases of beer, he dug me two more new ponds. He dredged out and expanded Main Pond in the process, adding two islands.

A pair of Canada Geese found our Main Pond shortly thereafter and made it their spring home. We named them “Flo & Moe”.

For the past seven years, they have nested on the bigger of the two main pond islands, hatching their eggs there each spring, and giving us goslings.

Mother’s Day, 2022,
Flo & Moe with their newly hatched goslings

This spring would be year eight. It appeared to be no different.

Flo & Moe arrived in late March. Shortly thereafter, they built their nest in the same spot they had it last year, in the left front corner of the big island on our main pond. Flo laid her eggs April 7th.

From there forward she remained on her nest, with Moe always nearby, standing guard.

“In Action” footage.
Moe defending Flo’s nest.

He’s sure not happy with Somebody!

We all watched through binoculars and waited, counting the days. Canada geese generally incubate their eggs for approximately 28.

Things seemed to be on schedule and going according to plan. Robin & I were getting excited as we awaited our new 2023 grand-goslings. This would be year 8.

All the while I was daily patrolling.

Our game cameras had warned me that danger lurked near.

“Midnight Prowler”
April 21, 2023
Coyote caught on trail cam just out beyond our Main Pond.

Suddenly, on the night of April 26th, my worst fears were realized. Some sixth sense wakened me during the night. I checked the game cameras.

April 26, 2023
“Caught Red Handed”

I knew immediately what had just happened. I raced out the Main Pond. Flo & Moe were swimming around frantically. They were clearly distressed and honking for help.

But alas!

I was too late. The coyote had already molested the nest and made off with an egg. There would be no 2023 grand goslings.

The damage was done.

“Devastated Dreams”
What was left of Flo & Moe’s nest after the coyote destroyed it.

We were all deeply sad hearted by nature’s state of affairs. Our Canada geese family’s 2023 nest and chicks had been destroyed by a prowling coyote. We were all devastated. Mother nature can be cruel sometimes.

Life moved on.

“Hope’s Remnants”
Egg shell evidence left in our field by the pond after the coyote destroyed Flo’s nest.

Then on the afternoon of May 8, 2023, I was doing some early season mowing out along the near side bank of Main Pond. I looked across the pond to the far bank. Two geese were standing there watching me warily. I did a double take and immediately stopped mowing.

For what did I see there on the far bank of the pond…Newly hatched goslings!

May 8, 2023
Freshly hatched today!
Our new grand-goslings!

There must have been another pair of geese with a nest of grand-gosling eggs hidden somewhere nearby! This Flo & Moe pair hatched a grand gosling total of seven fluffy new spring hopes.

Six of our seven new grand goslings in this pic. There always seemed to be one straggler. I named that one “RJ”, after my son.

All newly hatched and swimming on our Main Pond with their parents.

May 8, 2023

Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Nature’s New Life Prevailed.

Hope Springing Eternal.


Until Our Trails Cross Again:

Flo & Moe II

& Our 2023 Grand Goslings


ADKO Update:

I am happy to report that despite the ever-present dangers prowling predators posed,

Flo & Moe II hung around our property for nearly two weeks with their 2023 spring hopes, before they finally left our series of small backlot ponds to sneak down through the woods to safety of nearby larger bodies of water where they can spend the summer raising their family in relative peace.

By my final trail cam count,

at the time of their departure,

there were still seven survivors.

Including their straggler son RJ.

Sometimes Against All Odds

Nature’s New Life Prevails

Hope Springs Eternal


(Author’s Endnote: This story appeared in the 6/4/23 online edition of The Adirondack Almanack.)