Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Down by the Riverside

Two weeks ago I noticed a large flock of geese foraging for leftover corn in a field across the road. I thought I'd try to capture a shot of them with my camera, but first I needed to feed the barn cats. By the time I'd done that the geese were gone from the field, but I could hear them on the river, so I walked down to look for them.

Along the path I noticed this crow sitting in a tree and it let me get quite close before it flew off.

The morning was pleasant, but still chilly enough for long underwear. Frost covered a shady area of the path.

I found the geese floating peacefully on the river, but unfortunately my presence disturbed them....... Posted by Picasa

.....and they took flight.

They didn't go far, just around a few bends in the river, so I followed the path, hoping to catch a few more shots of them.

Just a little way along I found this pair, and a male mallard duck.

They swam away from me, around the first bend....

...and there was the little female mallard. Posted by Picasa

These 2 geese were bolder than the others had been, and let me walk a little closer....

....before they took flight. I wondered if they were the same pair my daughter and I had seen in that spot the week before, and if perhaps they were nesting in the area. I'd love to find a nest with eggs when and if they do. I've looked in previous years, but haven't been lucky enough to find one yet.

Continuing around the bend, I found some of the first group in a cornfield. Of course, they weren't going to hang around and pose for me....

....so they were off again. Posted by Picasa

They're so beautiful in flight.

Walking back I noticed this little creek, which runs into the river, had ice along the edges....

......forming some interesting patterns.

The skeletons of last summer's milkweed pods still stood on the creek bank.

And I found this fascinating seedpod on a scrub tree. Posted by Picasa

There's the old barn next to the shale bed.

There was still plenty of ice where this creek runs through the culvert under the road.

I love the red stems on this weedy shrub that grows prolifically around here. Its name escapes me at the moment. Posted by Picasa

I cut a small bunch of pussywillow branches growing down by the river to make a nice arrangement for the dining room table. Posted by Picasa

Mother Nature has only allowed us a few warm, sunny days so far....little tastes of spring to tease us. We've had rain, mud, and gray skies for the most part......even snow flurries for the past couple of days. And the frigid winds just won't go away!

For a long time I've wanted a pair of shoes for this time of the year that will keep my feet warm and dry during mud season, and I've finally found a pair that fits the bill. Posted by Picasa Garden Shoes Online offers these Muck Boots, as well as lots of other neat garden shoes, gloves and other garden accessories, and though I don't normally choose to advertise on my blog, I'm adding the link in this case, because I like the product so much.
A good pair of garden shoes is the way to this gardener's heart, and they graciously offered me the chance to try them. I'm very glad I did!

We may be wishing for sunshine, but the daffodils are soaking up the rain and beginning to open their buds. They're about a week earlier than last year. The grass is greening nicely and my hubby found a patch by the outdoor furnace that actually needs mowing! That's a chore I'm not anxious to start! Posted by Picasa
I've been helping out at my favorite nursery as well as working at school, plus starting lots of seeds, so I'm not finding much time to visit all my blog friends lately. I'll be around to catch up on you as soon as time allows. Meanwhile, I hope you're enjoying all that's going on in your gardens!


Naturegirl said...[Reply]

Kerri!What a delight for me to see you posting all about the Canada geese! I do miss them while snowbirding here in the southwest..however I have been hearing them fly over our condo every morning for 3 wks now!!
Guess they are heading back home..honk honk!!
Love the photos of them in flight and that river..delightful! smiles to you..NG
P.S. those boots look very comfortable..I;ll look into them!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...[Reply]

What a birdful post this time, Kerri. I live in the countryside and often see big flocks of geeze too. What a noise they make when they fly over. ;-)

It's a pity that it is still pretty cold where you live but hopefully warmer days are on their way. In the meantime you've found a very comfy pair of muck boots to keep you snug as a bug. ;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

You got some great flight shots of the Canada Geese Kerri. I loved the walk about your area. Those red stems look like red twig dogwood. It sounds like your busy season has already begun.

Tabor said...[Reply]

This certainly is the busy time of the year for us gardeners. Spring has arrived here and is racing forward with new blooms everyday. Some of those geese shots are frameworthy! My problem with mud boots it I cannot wear them on days when I have to use the shovel.

Susan Tidwell said...[Reply]

You find beauty in nature even when the flowers are not blooming! Love the long underwear and muck boots, you sexy thing - LOL! Have a good one!

CanadianGardenJoy said...[Reply]

Kerri you live in a gorgeous area girl ! .. it would inspire me to talk a lot of walks and pictures too !
I really love seeing the geese in flight .. those wings are so graceful : )
The river/creek edge is very pretty too !

Cat with a Garden said...[Reply]

Great pictures! As a city girl I don't get to see much wildlife. On a trip along the Rhine the last weekend we saw some geese too though!

Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

You got some great shots of birds in flight.

I looked at the garden shoes. I may get a pair too. It says they are water and mud proof and fit snuggly to keep out dirt and pebbles. I like that.

Beth said...[Reply]

I'll have to check out those garden shoes. I'm pretty hard on my feet come spring and summer and these look like they'd be perfect. I love daffodils!

kate smudges said...[Reply]

I like your garden shoes. They look perfect for mucking about in the garden. I love hearing geese overhead. There is a flock of geese that lives here year round and regularly fly over my place.

F Cameron said...[Reply]

what great scenes, but I know you're ready for blooms, sunshine and warmth.

I like the muck shoes. I wear my 10 year-old Vasque hiking boots for heavy-duty garden work. They last forever and I can wash them off (Gore-Tex) and go hiking in them. They're none the worse for wear. They are a bit much for light work, so I like the idea of your muck shoes.


Barbee' said...[Reply]

This is a wonder post, Kerri! It holds so much, and so beautiful. Thank you for taking us with you!

Unknown said...[Reply]

love the post. looks like you live in a wonderful area! I have never been to upstate new york but its on my list!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...[Reply]

What a nice walk you had. It's nice to see all the geese and ducks in a natural setting. It does look cold there still, but maybe the daffodils are a sign it's about to warm up!

kylieps said...[Reply]

Kerri Spooner...Goose Whisperer.

Lovely photos mummy. I really like the ice formations too.

Cathy S. said...[Reply]

Great Post Kerri, Funny the Canadian geeses hangs around our neighborhood and they don't scare easy, even when cars drive by they won't always budge. Nice photos, I wish spring would speed up a little faster..

Gail said...[Reply]

I was so excited to see your Canada Geese taking flight shots...they are excellent....I have a pink pair of the muck shoes and a pair that are more boot like. I love them for garden work...they slip on and off easily when I go inside! Spring seems to take it's sweet time up there where you live Kerri... gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...[Reply]

I just can't get into the Canadian Geese thing. Around here they are a nuisance, nesting in parking lots & chasing shoppers who accidentally come too close. I do like the sun lighting up the wild Dogwood twigs, and the Milkweed pod.
I am another fan of Mudd shoes. I love mine so much I've worn a hole in them (on the top). I'm thinking of getting purple ones now.

Barbara said...[Reply]

Such a beautiful walk with you...though not in reality! I love your pictures of the geese (we cannot observe these birds here!).
Have a good time and don't work too hard ;-) !!

sweetbay said...[Reply]

What beautiful countryside you live in and what beautiful pictures. I grew up on a lake with mallards and Canada Geese and I loved to watch them. You have such an eye for taking good photographs.

I will have to look at those shoes -- it drives me crazy not having something that's both comfortable and waterproof.

joey said...[Reply]

Delighted walking beside you with your camera, Kerri. Thanks for focusing on the awesome beauty of a simple day. Happy Easter!

Kathleen said...[Reply]

I'm glad I'm not the only one living where there's still ice and snow Kerri! It has warmed up the last few days but I still have snow in my backyard. We have Canadian geese that fly over our house every morning and then again every evening. I never tire of hearing them but like you, haven't ever found or seen a nest of eggs. Usually we see them after they've hatched. Wonderful looking boots. I'm going to check them out too. Lucky you to try out a pair and nice to know you like them. Glad to see your daffs on the verge of opening ~ that will really make it seem like spring.

WiseAcre said...[Reply]

So you've been hearing the spring sounds of city traffic. The geese are back and I can hear the honking down at the river.

I like the geese in flight. I've yet to capture a pic like that. Maybe if I left the dog home I could get closer but she'd be heartbroken if I left her behind. She knows I'm going for a hike as soon as I pick up my camera.

Val said...[Reply]

I find it fascinating that we have the birds on our rivers - yet so far apart! The mallards are starting to wander up from the river and into village gardens, I snapped a couple of photos yesterday from the comfort of my house - but our days of thick frosts and ice are gone.... I hope!

Love the shoes, and the warm socks underneath!

Linda said...[Reply]

You got some wonderful pictures Kerri. They really are beautiful.
I remember how slow spring was in arriving up north, but I'm sure it is on its way.
We planted some flowers this morning. My little attempts at gardening looks so puny compared to your luxuriant gardens, but I enjoy the little bit I do. I dearly love flowers, I just don't seem to have the gardening gene!
Have a blessed Easter Kerri.

Marie said...[Reply]

What a beautiful post Kerri. Spring is on it's way :)

Debbie said...[Reply]

Kerri, your posts never fail to bless me. Love all the photos of the water fowl on the river. We live very near a large resevoir and I enjoy this time of year as the ice breaks up and all the water birds come back.

Thank you!

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri, like always such a special, delightful post. Love the antics of the birds you describe so aptly. Also the small details, like the milkweed, nobody else would give a second glance. In its last days it still looks beautiful.) No Kerri this easter we are on our own. So I am sure my daughters will show up! I will go over to ML to bring the girls their easter bunny so we already had a trip together to smiggles (can't remember the funny name) they sell very colourful and special school "essentials." You know waht I mean. I wish you and your family a very happy Easter.T.

Kylee Baumle said...[Reply]

Kerri, this post is chock full of wonderful photos! I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them and showed them to Romie. He enjoyed them too.

Frances said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri, thanks for being so persistant with the geese. You have shown us many beautiful things along the way too. You have the eye of an artist, just wonderful to see beauty everywhere you look. I am a huge fan of the muck boots too. I have the knee high ones and they are the best gardening boots I own. The wellies even got the toss, these are much warmer and dryer too. Shoes would be excellent, they are sold many places around my small town for the farmers. Happy Easter!

Jan said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, I enjoyed this trip and your photos of nature very much! I just love how you snapped small details and found beauty in them
;-) We have so many geese here that our community tries to find ways to divert them. We have a small pond in the development and though they are pretty, they leave goose poop everywhere and the people in the homes around the pond aren't real thrilled with that! (I don't live around the pond). I do love your photos of them, and in flight, they do look beautiful. I know you just will be thrilled when the warmer weather sets in for you...and you can actually do some 'digging' and 'planting' and 'weeding', etc! But meanwhile, I'm glad you shared your muck shoes with us. I will have to look in to that store. I do have some shoes and boots that I use, but not as nice as those! I hope you will have a Happy Easter, and a beautiful spring, dear Kerri;-)

Pat said...[Reply]

Always glad to see your flying friends. The photos of the river...take me to a calmer place.
Happy Easter,

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

You got some amazing photos of the geese and ducks! The ones in flight are especially nice! Good job! I've been having a hard time finding time to get around to visit everyone too. Lots going on with a sick friend right now. Been spending lots of time at the nursing home.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter Kerri! xoxoxox

Pam said...[Reply]

We've just come back from Poland where the temperatures were a sunny 70 degrees or so (20 Celsius) but there was hardly any grass yet and the daffodils were only just sprouting. Very strange for us to see, compared to Scotlan, where the some of the daffs are completely over and the grass stays green all year!

Lovely goose photos.

Corner Gardener Sue said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
I love the story of your looking for the geese, and your great shots of them! We live a block from a cemetery, and see some fly overhead once in awhile. One of these times I'll have my camera out with me. I have also thought about walking to the cemetery to see what wildlife and plants I can get photos of. One of these days...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll let Jeff know what people have said. I'm getting some ideas, too, like some bushes with berries for the birds, like highbush cranberry.

Happy Easter!

Dee Nash said...[Reply]

You take some beautiful photos, my friend. I want some garden clogs or muck boots so I won't ruin all of my shoes. :) Hope it warms up there soon.~~Dee

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Your photos of the geese are so nice. I remember when I was a girl dad calling us to come outside and see the flock of Canadian Geese. We saw them frequently.
Since that time whenever I hear the honking in spring or fall I know the season is changing.

We had frost a few times the first of the wek but now it's raining. My crocus and daffy's are blooming so pretty. And the primroses are making a gorgeous show for me too.
I do love spring!!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

You make those darned geese sound so charming, when we find them such a nuisance! The make such a mess on the pavement around our neighborhood, as they make themselves at home in the decorative ponds. But they are indeed lovely in flight! Many others just love to see them flying overhead, but I guess it's because they are such a novelty to them. We see them everywhere, all the time, and their charms wear off quickly. LOL

BLossom said...[Reply]

I love the geese but not crows. There are a few in my garden. Those crows might hurt my fish in the pond.

Gail said...[Reply]

Just wanted to wish you a sweet day...We are having a few folks over for a continental breakfast...I hope this day is filled with gardening. gail

Alice said...[Reply]

Please keep chasing geese, Kerri, especially when you have your camera with you. I love seeing birds in flight, and geese and swans are so elegant.

I shiver at the sight of all that ice on the water and wonder how long before our first frost. I don't think I want your ice, but I sure would like your rain.

If we could get your rain, then I'd definitely need a pair of 'muck boots' (such an inelegant name), but they look very comfortable and weatherproof.

I hope as the weather warms you will be able to find time for ALL your favourite activities, especially those relating to plants - either planting, buying, maintaining, or simply enjoying them.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...[Reply]

Happy Easter! The geese here are a bit less afraid of humans. In fact, they can be quite ornery if you cross their path the wrong way! Hope it has warmed up a little for you--here it's sunny with a high of 50, though we had six inches of snow on Monday!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...[Reply]

You got some great shots! There didn't seem to be as many geese as usual here this year.

John and I wanted to wish you and R. a very Happy Easter. I hope you're enjoying the beautiful sunshine.


Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

You once said that you don't walk out the door without your camera, Kerri - how lucky for us that you followed your own rules the day you went Duck & Goose hunting. Great story & photographs - thank you.

Ten years ago, my feelings about Canada Geese were similar to those of MMD. Huge flocks of geese became permanent residents near village ponds in Illinois, befouling water and parks and sometimes attacking children.

But after many goose-free years in Texas, I'd kind of like to see one again!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

CP Su said...[Reply]

Cool shoes Kerri ;)

Terri said...[Reply]

Kerri, the photos were lovely, but made me feel so cold! Find warm pictures to take! I'm so tired of the chilly weather and longing for warm sunny days!

Hope your Easter was lovely!