4.28.23 ~ Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
papa goose standing guard over his new family

It was our lucky day — we got to see the Canada goose hatchlings still in their nest! However, papa goose was standing guard right where I usually stand to take pictures of mama goose on her nest. He never budged — what a vigilant, protective papa. I had to make do and find a different spot to zoom in from for my pictures.

three of the four
the fourth one seems a little bigger than the others
eastern painted turtle
Duck Pond

If you look closely in the above picture, all the way on the left papa goose is standing there keeping an eye on the whole pond and his family. All the way on the right mama goose and the goslings are on the little rock island.

On our way over to the nature center we happened to see the Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre being moved to a different dock in the preservation shipyard at Mystic Seaport. Tim parked the car illegally so I could hop out and cross the street and capture it, probably the last time we will see it. Most of the time it is covered in marine shrink wrap so this was a real treat!

Draken Harald Hårfagre on the Mystic River

The Draken Harald Hårfagre first came to Mystic in 2016, if I remember correctly, and it’s been exciting to me having it here for so long. Even though its home port is Haugesund, Norway the crew seems to have made Mystic its home away from home. Its website says it’s the world’s largest viking ship sailing in modern times. Official website.

27 thoughts on “hatchlings!”

    1. I was bracing myself for disappointment about seeing any goslings, so getting to see both them and the ship was definitely a treat!

      1. That last shot of the ship looks like a fun puzzle. Tomorrow Sunday Yorkie and I move from our current nest to the next winter season of life nest. My POA will move us to a high rise independent retirement community with a bay view of the marina where we can watch the ships. The hope is to live easier by letting go of house style living and accepting the care that we need now. Hard decisions yet necessary!

        1. It’s so nice to know that Yorkie gets to move with you to your new place, TD! Will it be much of a downsizing for you? It sounds like a positive change, with less home maintenance to worry about and a lovely view to enjoy, too. Maybe you will make new friends with the neighbors. Some decisions are so difficult to make and weighing the pros and cons can be tricky but it seems like a good transition. Wishing you and Yorkie the very best!

          1. Big downsizing, Barbara! Definitely new friends, assorted activities to join in, walking and swimming. House chores, laundry and all dining is included! Positive change for us is what I need now. Once you move, house gets sold, you may be looking for similar.

          2. It sounds wonderful, TD! We have a couple of relatives who are enjoying that lifestyle and I do wonder if we might try to do the same, after we get rid of all this stuff and sell our home. Then we can take our time looking at our options…

  1. What a great day for you Barbara! I am so envious of you seeing those just-hatched goslings. I figure they just hatched due to all the feathers still around Mama’s body. What good fortune to see this today. That is some set-up your Mama Goose has, her own island and Papa nearby to protect her. We have a rainy weekend plus I wouldn’t drive the car until after it goes to the shop on Monday, so “My” Mama Goose has likely had her goslings already so I won’t be glimpsing any of these goslings for a while. That first picture of the goslings, they look so sweet and fluffy and yes that one looks bigger than the other three.

    Your sunning turtle made me smile. The reflections for Mama Goose and the turtle are very pretty.

    Lucky you for seeing this Viking ship too! The website was interesting – it felt like I was on board with them. In 1976, the “Christian Radich” a tall ship was in Detroit, then Toronto and had been in New York harbor for the parade of tall ships. We got to go on board and meet the crew in Toronto – it was docked at the Canadian National Exhibition (like an annual State fair). Most of the crew were teenage boys – it was a training ship for future sailors. Now that tall ship is all computerized – I was fascinated seeing the inside when researching it online a few years ago … when I saw it, it was long before computers were so commonplace.

    1. I’m thrilled to pieces that I found the goslings still in the nest this year. Last year I missed that and they were already toddling around on the land by the time we got to them. It’s supposed to rain today but we might go back and see if we can find them swimming. Fingers crossed… It’s true, that little island is a Canada goose paradise! Too bad your weather isn’t cooperating with your gosling photography plans!

      Back in 2000 another Viking ship came to Mystic Seaport, the Íslendingur. I understand it is on display in a museum in Iceland now. After I get to NC, when I go through the boxes of photographs I’ve thrown together while packing, I hope to find the pictures I took of that one, too, before I had a digital camera. It was also part of OpSail 2000, a tall ship parade on the Thames River before it visited the seaport. I bet it was similar to the parade you got to see. We’ve toured both Viking ships and it was fun to imagine what it was like crossing the ocean in such small and open vessels.
      Also at OpSail 2000 was the Ukrainian schooner, Bat’kivshchyna. We took my frail father to see it and he somehow managed to walk up the gangplank to tour it. (His parents were Ukrainian immigrants.) He lingered, exploring every nook and cranny, and other visitors had to work their way around him. I hope I can find those pictures, too. We won’t be seeing many ships in North Carolina, that’s for sure, but I treasure these memories.

      1. How exciting, still in the nest. Just for you I think Barbara! I did get down to the Park today – it stopped raining a few hours, though I didn’t get there until after 10:00 a.m. because we had had heavy fog and rain up until 9:00 a.m. I felt badly not getting to the Park for two days and we have three rainy/stormy days in a row coming up and Wednesday my shot at 9:00 a.m. which I can walk to, so I wanted to get down there and feed my critters. I got there and 20 minutes later it began to drizzle. I had not taken my camera but saw three geese families … two were walking around (two families, nine goslings between them that I could see) and a family with four goslings in the water. Those in the water were very young. It’s too bad the weather and car messed me up this year … I’m wavering on taking the car in on Monday in this weather … it’s just a small shop, so cancelling is not a big deal. They’re always swamped. Weather forecast is for 30 mph winds both Monday and Tuesday and rain/stormy both days, snow Monday afternoon and into Tuesday, not measurable. I do not want to deal with that – will move it a week.

        1. It was exciting — I couldn’t believe my luck that morning! You were lucky to see the four goslings in the water; I haven’t seen that yet. 😉 We’re getting a lot of rain, too, so we didn’t go check yesterday. It looks like a break in the rain this morning before the next deluge arrives so we might try our luck again, take a break from packing and sneak over there. I hope your car gets fixed without too much trouble, even if you have to wait another week. You need it functioning well for your peace of mind and for delivering your critters their care packages. 😉

          1. I was happy to see those tiniest goslings … the other ones were a few days old, but still adorable. I wished I had the camera, but it was just so damp I didn’t take it. I hope you get to catch up with your Mama and her goslings again – the weather is annoying sometimes isn’t it? In fact, I will cancel the car tomorrow and move it to next week if we get the crummy weather (rain, 30 mph winds and snow showers) as expected. I don’t want to drive it even though the shop service manager said “don’t worry about it – water dripping from the exhaust is okay” … I’m a worrier. Today my landline stopped working. AT&T said it is an outage. So, that is not good if I take the car in either … I never use my cellphone, just carry it for emergencies. I agree with you – I hate worrying about the car as there is too much craziness going on around here right now.

          2. We went back two days after this and the whole family was gone, just like last year. So last year I got them toddling around on land and this year I got them still in the nest. No pictures of little goslings swimming in the pond for me. 🙁 But I am grateful for the pictures I did get. 🙂 My goodness, it’s one crazy thing after another for you! Last night when I was telling Tim about my sister’s latest trouble, out of the blue I said, “It’s another stone in her wheelbarrow.” Tim said he had never heard that metaphor before and I said it was because I just made it up. For some reason a picture memory of my father loading his wheelbarrow with stones from the woods to build his stone wall with was in my head. Tim said he liked the expression a lot and thinks he will make good use of it.

          3. You were lucky to get those goslings in the nest, so newly hatched that Mom’s feathers which had protected the eggs were still in the nest. They probably needed her body to keep them warm if it is anything like it is here temperature-wise. I felt badly for our goslings … we had some snow flurries last night and early a.m. This year seems to be continuing on just like last year with little issues, all demanding attention and money to solve them. I am grateful it is not medical issues, but all these piddling little problems just get to me. I like that expression too – it is true that the burden is greater with each stone in the wheelbarrow.

          4. With each new stone the load shifts and we have to readjust to continue pushing our wheelbarrows… Snow flurries in May, sigh, I feel for your mama goose and her little ones, too.

          5. I’d have a long row to hoe to pack up everything here – I often wonder how three people and a bird lived here. My mom tolerated zero clutter and if new things came into the house, that meant old things must go out. Poor goslings must be freezing with nights dipping down to near freezing.

          6. We just started watching a show streaming on Peacock TV called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” I read the book several years ago (2018, I think..) and loved it. Having to pack for this move has forced me to do a death cleaning, which is going through your stuff before you die so that others won’t have to after you’re gone, and to make room for the life you want to have now. It’s pretty inspiring!

          7. I have heard of that book … I really need to pare down things in here and will do a big purge when I am retired and don’t have to devote a big chunk of my free time to that. I signed up for free Peacock with my Comcast to watch “Yellowstone” – ask me if I’ve seen it yet and I signed up at least a year ago, if not 18 months. I am looking forward to watching it.

          8. This has got to be the biggest purge I’ve ever done in my life!!! I feel like I’m running out of time but am trying to keep plugging along. Still making trips to Goodwill… Not sure if I’d ever get this done if we didn’t have to get it done to get out of here. 😉 I’ll have to check out “Yellowstone” after we get settled. I’ve also enjoyed “Wild Scandinavia” on PBS.

          9. It would take me a very long time to declutter this house and it’s a small house. I was just discussing French braids with another blogger … I told her my mom French braided my hair as it had long layers and I would drop pieces. I have two cabinet shelves in a downstairs cabinet with hair ornaments and doo dads for hair alone. And beneath those two shelves are two shelves of VCR movies taped but not watched. I envy you getting it all done. I should check out “Wild Scandinavia” on PBS … I have to stream it as I don’t have cable and my TV is from back in the 1990s! I’ll save “Yellowstone” for Winter (of course I said that last Winter too).

          1. I know TD – I didn’t dare take the camera as it had been pea soup fog most of the morning, but the four were so cute swimming with Mom and Pop and the rest of them, there were nine goslings and two parents … Papa hissing at me, though I gave everyone wide berth. 🙂

  2. Wonderful photos Barbara. I love those little chicks when they first hatch. You just want to pick them up and pet them. If only a person could.

    1. Thank you, Peggy! It would be so much fun to hold those little puff balls but their parents would certainly prevent us from making any attempts to satisfy that urge. 😉

  3. So precious, and I am so happy you got to see them AND get photos! Even if Proud Papa Goose was on guard duty. 🙂 Your capture of the big scene of Mama Goose on the rocks and the reflection is so very pretty. ❤️

    1. Thank you, Donna! It was my lucky day. Tim tried to get behind papa goose to get a picture on his cell phone, of papa looking toward the nest, but he got a warning hiss so he backed off. 🙂 Mama goose was very lovely there in her element!

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