Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Drop in the Bucket

Who doesn't love spending time by the water at this time of year? Whether it's a lake at the cottage, a coastal beach, a lazy river, a babbling brook or a local pond, animal life is a wonder to watch. Come join me to take a look at what I've seen in and around the water recently.

While out for a drive near Frank's place, we were kind of on the lookout for families of geese, knowing that they were nesting in the area. Frank pulled over abruptly having caught sight of this crew about to make their way across the road. By the time I got out of the car and raised the camera to my eye, they were well on their way.

These traffic-stoppers reminded me of kids on their way to school, negotiating the busy road with the aid of a crossing guard.

Down near the marina, we saw about a half dozen of these beautiful Mute swans. They were a bit nervous as I approached the shoreline, so I stood back and let my zoom lens find one.

In the waters of Lake Ontario, this mother and her two gosling went for a swim. It was a dull day, and my distance from them did not allow for a good photo, so I decided to play with them in Photoshop instead.

One of the many beautiful waterfront views in Frank's lovely part of Ontario.

Back home, life is waking up in our ponds. Walking near the dam one day, I heard and saw a tremendous splash. Then another and another and still more. All in different spots. It turns out it was carp getting all frisky and ready to mate with their lovely carp-ettes. There were so many of them all over the lake - like wall to wall carp-etting.

In a different pond, a fifteen minute walk from home, these little cuties were all around the shoreline. Frank tells me that they're Pumpkinseed Sunfish, but then again, what would he know about fish?

Even cuter than the fish, were the goslings which shared the shore with me. Isn't this a friendly looking little guy? He's practically smiling.

Less amused was Mother Goose who kept a wary eye on me. I kept a respectful distance from her young and she soon relaxed.

At one point, she looked off into the water and I felt a sadness wash over me.

Stop destroying our planet.


Brian Miller said...

was just at the lake swimming yesterday...that family of geese is adorable...and the fish are fun when they are playing...

Steve Gravano said...

Extraordinary ending. All the logos, should be included. Those goslings are getting big.Thanks for the walk.

Kat said...

Look at all those gosslings. And I think I have my hands full with four little kiddies. ;)

Wall to wall carp-eting. Hehe. Clever you. :)

Rosaria Williams said...

What a delight to see nature through your lenses! Love it!

Jinksy said...

The speckled fish pleases my Piscean heart!

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Full of light, reflections, babies, wall-to-wall carp-etting - and then the zinger that brings back all the horror in which we all have participated ... Isn't it just heart-wrenching what is happening to wildlife and sealife in the Gulf? How many wake up calls can Earth endure until we wake up?

Pauline said...

such magnificent photography - you capture personalities so well. And those sad eyes on Mrs. Goose, as though she knew what was happening to her kind elsewhere - and maybe she does.

Do you remember the book, Make Way for Ducklings? Your gosling photos reminded me of that...

Anonymous said...

I love all of these Hilary.. only a little envious that I can't photoshop tho... well, A LOT if i'm honest!

LadyFi said...

Such gorgeous pictures. I certainly hope these lovely creatures are around for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.

ellen abbott said...

Love that green star in the eye in the last picture. And all those goslings! Really all wonderful photos Hilary.

Mage said...

Yes......thank you.

NJ said...

Hilary, you just amaze me with your shots!! These are wonderful. I love the goose family on the road. One time in front of our house their was a turkey family. They visit our property daily but are very wary. Typically as soon as they catch sight of us they are gone. This particular day they had the babies with them and they were literally herding them across the was so cute. Wish I'd gotten a good shot.

Bossy Betty said...

OH! I want to go on your walks with you! Lovely images. Love the family of geese. So beautiful! Thank you !

CiCi said...

Hubby and I got such a kick out of the great picture you captured of the family of geese. Frank is a real trouper to enjoy pulling over so pictures can be taken. You are right, I do think the gosling is smiling.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Look at the proud mother goose marching her very big group of babies across the street. Beautiful as always Hilary,

Dawning Inspiration said...

Oh my gosh Hilary - these are amazing - that Swan is breathtaking and that cute little fuzzy precous!

Sueann said...

Such wonderful photos Hilary. You have such a good "eye"!! And I loved that beautiful!! Yes when you consider what is occurring right now...I feel sick to my stomach.

Anonymous said...

Hilary.. the photoshopped one of the mother and 2 babies on the water would be wonderful framed in a child's room. I love it.


Eleonora Baldwin said...

Love the BP logo in the eye.
Wonderful photos, as usual. Such a striking contrast with the other peaceful and summery ones in the opening.

I've crept out of the hole I had dug myself into, and am happy to report it's all OK now.


Unknown said...

These are wonderful! I love all the pictures, it makes me want to leave my comfortable spot on the couch and go venture out to the local park!

Too bad my severe sunburn is keeping me indoors!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: Loved your sunfish photo, I think it is a Red Ear Sunfish from the color behind the gill. You did a wonderful job shooting through the water. That goose profile is super.

Lori said...

I love that you get such great photo's and share them with us. Thank you! We see a lot of these around us and they are so fun to watch but I don't get pictures of them like this. :( My little's will enjoy these pictures! :)

Karen said...

Love those goslings! Great pic of the single one. That last picture gave me chills. (I'm from Louisiana where all the oil spill is going) Breaks my heart. Great fish pics, too.

Mental P Mama said...


Fragrant Liar said...

Wow, Hilary, that was so enjoyable -- all the photos were gorgeous. You have a great eye for capturing the moment.

And yes, to all those destroying our planet: STOP!

Tabor said...

GREAT post. I have been traveling so only can stop by quickly...but glad I did!

Shammickite said...

"wall to wall carp-etting"???? Groan!
And surely that mummy goose must have been babysitting for a neighbour, she couldn't raise 14 babies could she?

SandyCarlson said...

A baker's dozen of babies! What a family. What great guardians. Thanks for these great shots.

Friko said...

The traffic stoppers are the official lollipop ladies (traffic guards) which you find on school crossings, and who make sure that the young ones can cross the road safely.

As for Mother Goose being cross, can't you see she has a cold? There's a drip hanging from the end of her nose!

Glorious pictures.

Friko said...

Hurrah, it's worked. i was here as one of the earliest commenters but Blogger kept flashing Error 503 at me. what on earth is error 503.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Oh, Hilary. Just when I snap a couple of good pictures and start feeling good about my photography, I stop by your site and realize how pathetic my efforts are. You have a gift.

Linda Bob Grifins Brin Korbetis said...

very cute geese,
lovely fish..
thank you for refreshing our day!

Zuzana said...

I love the water too, any kind, even though the shores of the sea are my favorite.
Beautiful images, I too like to play around with Photoshop.;)
Love *the eye*, it is so symbolic.

Leah J. Utas said...

I love the smiling gosling. Water is so soothing and relaxing.

christopher said...

Yes...this is a great time of year to experience nature.

....wonderful lead in to a sad mother goose.

the Bag Lady said...

I love the gosling photos! I've seen several families of geese lately, but haven't been able to take photos. Of course, I knew I'd see some here!
I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment about destroying our planet. I can barely stand to watch the news about the Gulf anymore - it breaks my heart!

Indrani said...

The last shot... the green in the eye... is it natural?
Great pics. I like the rain drops you introduced in the shot. Great pic.

messymimi said...

Wall to wall carp-et! I love puns, thank you.

I agree with the sadness. I've just returned from a week on the Gulf Coast in Florida. It is very sad.

Nancy said...

Stop destroying our planet. - Simple and pure.

The water dripping from her beak, the sweet smile from the gosling.

Stop destroying our planet!

Daryl said...

Oh these are just ducky!

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are stunningly beautiful, Hilary. I love the swan with its reflection, but they are all superb.

Cricket said...

Great pics as always. Interesting use of the BP logo... it took me a second, that. For some reason I'm thinking of Hunan Crispy Fish now... or, as my local's menu reads, Hunan Cripy Fish.

How about Where Will The Children Play by Cat Stevens? You could do worse.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Foul and fishy, Hilary. ;)
It's always a treat to visit you.

Badger said...

I love that picture of the family outing. We are waiting for the babies to arrive in Stadtpark - very exciting!

Hilary said...

• Brian, nice that you got some time at the lake to swim. It's always a joy to be out there enjoying nature. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Steve, thank you. I'm glad you joined me and enjoyed. :)

• Kat, they're a going concern, aren't they? Thanks for coming along. :)

• Lakeviewer, thank you kindly. I'm happy to share. :)

• Thanks, Jinsky. I didn't know you had an afFINity for fish. ;)

• Bonnie, it's a horrible situation. I'm not so sure we ever heed the wake up calls. It seems we just keep hitting that snooze button. Thanks for the visit - always appreciated. :)

• Pauline, thank you so much. I don't know what the goose may have known but I sure felt sad to think about what's happening to the creatures which just a couple of months ago, were living their lives as they should. I do remember the book with its cute illustrations. Thanks for the kind compliment. :)

• ED, Photoshop can be (is) overwhelming at first but if you just Google for the specific tutorial you'd like, you can probably figure out what you're trying to do in no time. It's a fun playground. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• LadyFi, thanks. I sure hope you're right about that too. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Ellen, thank you. I hope the people behind that green star can do something about this mess. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie, thanks for dropping by. :)

• NJ, thanks kindly. They sure are fun to watch - particularly at this time of the year when they young are so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Your turkeys must have been a treat to watch. Thanks for your always kind words. :)

• Betty, you're most welcome to join me anytime.. just holler when you're in the area. Thanks kindly. :)

• TechnoBabe, I'm glad that you and your husband enjoyed the gosling parade. They sure were a delight to happen upon. Frank and I have a mostly-unspoken agreement. He'll stop and allow me to take pictures and I'll stop with him whenever he wants to check out a pond with his fishing rod. The latter almost never happens so I've got the better part of this deal. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Joanna, thanks very much. They are a proud bunch, aren't they? :)

• Stacey Dawn, thank you. I'm glad that you like them. They're great critters. :)

• SueAnn, thank you so much. The BP situation is indeed sickening. All it takes is one look at those unfortunate creatures. I'm glad you enjoyed my photos though.. and thanks for the kind words. :)

• Snappy Di, thank you kindly. If you have such a child in your life, feel free to grab the image and print it. :)

• Eleonora, good to see you. It's been a while So glad to know that all is well. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Jen, sounds like you forgot the sunscreen. :/ I hope your skin heals soon. There's just too much to see and do at this time of the year to stay indoors. Thanks for the kind compliment. :)

• Fishing Guy, thank you so much for your kind words. I'm wondering if a Red Ear and a Pumpkinseed are one and the same. The funny thing was, that when Frank told me the kind of fish it was, I was stymied because to me, it didn't have the dinner plate shape that sunfish have. From my angle, each and every one of them looked like slender-bodied fish and I was sure it couldn't be a sunfish. I had to concede to the expert though. You both agree it's a sunfish. I think its marking are more like the pumpkinseed, though I'd sure like to see it out of the water, briefly. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Lori, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and even more pleased to know that the Littles will as well. Thanks for the visit. :)

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Karen. I didn't really have words to express how I felt so I thought the logo in the eye would speak more succinctly than I could. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, MPM. :)

• Fragrant Liar, thank you kindly. Very much appreciated. And I echo your "STOP!" :)

• Thank you, Tabor. I'm so glad you consider this spot a place to visit even when you don't have much time. :)

• Shammie, you've just sent me off to Google.. it seems that the average Canada Goose pair has 5 to 8 young, so yes, this number is quite unusual. I found nothing about some mothers taking on orphans. Interesting musteru, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Sandy, can you imagine? Thirteen kids and Mom has her slim figure back. Thanks for the visit. ):

• Friko, sorry to know that you had Blogger woes early on. It's been pretty finicky for me too, lately. I'm glad that you have folks who look out for crossing critters. I think next time I go to the park, instead of bringing peanuts for the squirrels, I'll bring tissues for the geese. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Linda, that's wrong! You should always feel good about the photos you take. I just keep on snapping until I get lucky with the right angle or perspective. I listen to advice, make mistakes, try different setting and eventually decent photos began to turn up. A running joke between Frank (who knows about SLRs and has offered help and advice) and me is that when I first got my camera it just wouldn't take good pictures. There had do be something wrong with this device. But with time and practice, my camera is working better than when I first got it. ;) Keep snapping. You're better than you realize. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Jingle. Very much appreciated. :)

• Zuzana, thank you. I always love when you post photos from your North Atlantic shorelines and yes, Photoshop can be a lot of fun. Thanks for noticing "the eye." ;)

• Leah, that's so true - whether bodies of water, steams or falls like the image you posted recently. It soothes the soul. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Christopher, thank you. Spring and summer are certainly MY times of the year. :)

• Baggie, you know there can't be too many posts on my blog without a goose sighting. ;) They're just so much fun this time of year. The news is certainly difficult to watch. Every time they show that gusher pouring oil into the ocean, I feel sick. Thanks for always stopping by for your visits. :)

• Indrani, I Photoshopped the green image in the eye (and the tear below it). It's the corporate logo for BP Oil.. which is what's been pouring into the Gulf of Mexico for the last few weeks. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Messymimi, I can't imagine how it must feel to see the damage firsthand. I'm glad you got a kick out of the pun. ;)

• Nancy, thanks for the visit. I'm always happy to see you drop by. :)

• Daryl, that was fowl. ;)

• Moannie, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Cricket, thank you. I can't say that I'm familiar with Hunan Crispy Fish but I suspect it's cooked in lots of oil. :/ Perfect song - one of my all time favourites. :)

• KC, puns are contagious, aren't they? ;) Thanks for the always kind words. :)

• Welcome, Badger and thanks for the kind words. It really is always exciting to see the new little ones arrive each year. Thanks for your visit. I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

Clowncar said...

a) that wall-to-wall carp-eting pun was so bad thre glass on my monitor cracked. you will be receiving a bill.


2) I've seen that wall-to-wall carp thing before, in the San Luis valley. Weird, and kinda creepy.

Maggie May said...

I just loved those close ups of the geese with dripping bills. And the fish......
I had to chuckle at the gaggle of geese crossing that road and they seem to be completely ignoring the speed limit. One seems to be settling in the road to sleep!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a powerful post, Hilary! I love how you took the symbol and superimposed it on her eye! Simply incredible! And I loved the smiling gosling...and the photoshopped picture--it looks like a painting! Really a rather extraordinary post...You are a photo journalist at heart!! Brilliant! Love, Janine XO

VM Sehy Photography said...

Cute gosling. And I love the water drops coming off of mama's beak.

Paul C said...

I'm convinced that nature goes out of its way for you. You find the most endearing shots.

Debbie said...

Gorgeous photos.
That is a big family! I hope they do well.

beth said...

these photos are amazing....those babies are huge and ready to fly i think....

and that goose....with his eye on incredible !

Unknown said...

I share your love and delight of the Mute Swan and others here. Singer Joni Mitchell said the heartbreak of her life is man's inhumanity to this planet. We have so much room to improve.The Gulf situation is very sad. But these photos brightened my morning!

Suldog said...

Even more magnificent than usual.

How many eggs do geese lay? That's a huge family. I don't suppose they were doing the goosey equivalent of car-pooling?

Frank is a published author? I must have known that already, but let it slip through my sieve-like memory.

And the final four shots, with the little one smiling (not almost) and the mom crying, are worthy of iconography. There's a best-selling poster in there, Hilary.

Travis Erwin said...

Love the shots as always but not so sure about the wall tom wall Carp-et groaner. LOL.

DJan said...

Oh, Lordy. I saw your comment on Nancy's post about Abby Sunderland, followed it, came over to your blog, and I'm hooked. What pictures! What elegance! I love all your pictures and quotations and am truly blessed to have found you!!!!

Linda said...

Lovely closeups of the geese and fish. "Carp-etting", what a cute play with words.

Do I see the BP logo in that last Goose's eye? ;)

~JarieLyn~ said...

They are all amazing and I love what the warm weather brings out. What a terrific walk about.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Amazing photos, as usual, m'dear. Thanks for sharing. Thank goodness those were only drops of water dripping off the goose. The BP image in her eye was a heart-breaker!

xxx said...

Thank you for sharing that.... what a wonderful day.

I like what you did with photoshop... It's probably a good thing that I don't have it as I can imagine myself getting lost there for hours on end.

I think being around water at any time of the year is exciting and always full of life.... as we are:)

best wishes

Hilary said...

• Clowncar, sorry for the damage caused by my pun. I've never cracked anything up like that before. There weren't enough carp in this pond to be creepy.. just perplexing at first - to me, anyway. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie May, those goslings sure were amusing to watch. I have still another photo where it looks as if the mother is doing a head count. They had a driver patiently waiting for them to cross. I'm glad you got a kick out of this post. :)

• Janine, thanks very much for such kind words. They mean so much to me. I'm glad that you enjoyed the post as you did. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, VM. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Paul, that's such a sweet thing to say. Thank you. :)

• Thanks, Debbie. I hope they do too. They're a huge brood! :)

• Beth, thank you so much. I don't think they'll be flying too soon but by autumn for sure. That goose was watching me closely but didn't seem to mind my presence too much. I felt very honoured. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Michael, the Gulf stories are heartbreaking.. sickening.. wrong. I sure hope they can end this craziness soon. I fear the long reaching results of all this ugly damage. I'm glad though that my post brightened your day. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Suldog, thank you. From what I've been reading, the Canada Geese lay between 3 and 8 eggs, so this is really unusual. I suppose it's possible that one mother may have died and her goslings imprinted on another mom.. but I don't know how likely that is in the goose kingdom. Yes, Frank's book "What Fish Don't Want You to Know" was published shortly after I met him. It's a great book.. informative and funny. You'd love it! ;) Thank you so much for your always kind words. I can't tell you how much they mean to me. :)

• Travis, thanks. I'll try to refrain from such pun-ishment next time. ;)

• Welcome, DJan and thanks so much for your kind words. I've found some of my favourite blogs by clicking on comments that I enjoyed so I'm happy to know that's how you found me, and I hope that you'll return again soon. Thanks so much for your comments. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Linda, thanks kindly. You did indeed see the BP logo. ;)

• Thanks, JariLyn. I'm glad you could join me. :)

• Pat, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and yes, the Gulf situation is indeed a heart-breaker. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Robyn. I'm glad you could join me. I'm always happy to share. I try not to spend too much time playing with Photoshop. Generally, I like the original shot best but find that it helps hide flaws of those that didn't turn out too well. You're so right about being around water. I'm very lucky to have these ponds nearby. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll return again soon. :)

Frank Baron said...


God will get you for that one, Hil. ;)

Lots of fine shots (esp. that sunfish) and amusing, thought-provoking commentary. :)

Cloudia said...

love the geese too :)

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral