Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Our home is located right next to a small pond, and every year about this time, we discover that there is a nest of eggs from either a pair of ducks or geese that always settle on our pond in the spring.

Last year, a pair of Mallards claimed the prized spot and unfortunately after watching them for a few weeks, something got to the eggs and the pair disappeared. We were so disappointed.

This year, we have a new dilemma. A pair of geese *and* a pair of Mallards have both laid eggs on the small island on the edge of the pond. The geese evidently didn't notice the Mallard nest for a couple days because the hen laid so low in the grass, but it didn't take long for both mamas to realize that they weren't nesting alone. The geese have been real stinkers to the poor hen Mallard. They won't let her up on her nest unless they are away from the island.

Well, my husband and boys have been rattled by this drama, and in turn are creating quite a drama of their own. Yesterday, from the time my oldest got off the bus until night fall, he was just furious with those geese who wouldn't let the Mallard to her nest of eggs. He tried every trick he could think of to coax the Mallards off the island so the hen could return. I tried to tell him time and time again that he's only making matters worse because the geese certainly aren't going to leave the island when he's causing so much commotion. They're protecting their own eggs.

He tried to be patient, but finally couldn't stand it any longer. My husband and younger son were involved at this point, and it was entertaining to watch, but made me question their sanity. They decided that if they shot their BB guns at the geese, it wouldn't hurt them from far range, but it might get them off the island without scaring the duck away so she could get back on her nest. Of course, I was thinking that this attempt is only going to be a temporary fix, but whatever. They were *determined* to get that hen back on her nest.

I can't paint a clear enough picture with words to portray how hilarious their "plan" looked as they carried it out. The three of them were armed with BB the house, mind you. They were trying to find the best vantage point to scare off the geese without hurting them and at the same time trying not to scare the Mallard. So they attempted a few shots from the upper deck, then my oldest went up stairs and started shooting from his bedroom window. A few minutes later, he was back downstairs shooting from the living room window. I swear I felt like I was in the middle of a war and they were defending the fort....BB guns were pointing out of windows all over the house as they scampered about trying to carry out the "plan".

They were a tad put off with me as I sat rolling my eyes at them as they'd pass by while reiterating my initial suggestion to just let nature takes it's course. They knew I was right, but they simply couldn't leave well enough alone.

The duck did finally get back on her nest, but I noticed the same drama is going on today as well. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out in the end.

Oh, and I saw what I think must have been some kind of Egret on the pond yesterday. But, it was huge...every bit as large as the Great Blue Herons that often visit. I swear it looked like a Great White Egret, but I don't think you spot many of those in Kansas.

[PNA, if you're out there, maybe you can clue me in as to what I was looking at.]