Category Archives: Animal Friends

A Spectacular June in Boston

Roses outside our WindowsWe’ve just had one of the loveliest Junes in memory, with day after day of sun, blue skies, and most importantly, low humidity. There were very few uncomfortably hot days in the entire month. While the news in the world has seemed devastating, nature has been at her most benign. I decided not to work as hard this month on the house clearing project and to give myself some time off for excursions within the city and beyond.

The neighborhood has been blooming. Right outside our window the rose bush was lush earlier in June. That rose was planted not so many years ago, and it has thrived in the sunny, south facing patch of ground outside our building.

As I walk around the neighborhood, I like to look into people’s gardens. The pink and lavender and blue flowers have been heavenly.

 

Meanwhile the ducklings and goslings are growing up at the Pond. We’re so lucky to live in the city and yet have the chance to observe wild life two blocks away at Jamaica Pond. Thank you, Frederick Law Olsted–I will never cease to be grateful. The green and blue tranquility of the Pond is a priceless asset to the neighborhood.

The Green Cove

I call this the Green Cove, for obvious reasons.

Mama duck and ducklings

The mother duck takes care of her babies all by herself; the male duck is out of the picture early on. The ducklings stick together and stay close to mother. They fall into line behind her in the  water, and they’re a lovely, quiet family. I like the duck personality.

Swimming

Meanwhile, in the Canada goose families the father goose is always present, keeping watch.

Into the water

Goose Family in the Water

The goslings grow fast.  I took the photo of the pretty one on the left on June 6th. By the 19th they had become gawky like the one on the right.

We have two sets of goslings at the Pond this year, one group of seven and one of five. The two families join forces to raise the young, so I always see them together, four adults and twelve goslings, with the five being slightly older than the seven.

Two goose families

Sometimes I like to go back to the Pond to watch the sunset. If I sit on a bench on our side of the Pond, the sun sets directly across the water. It’s as Thoreau said, “Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever.”

Sunset at Jamaica Pond

Sunset over dock

 

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Lovely June Day

June 1st has been a lovely day, after a hot and humid May 31st. A north east breeze was blowing, and we had a delightful walk at the Pond.

All is green now, so refreshing and soothing. Green Leaves

There is much new life among the water fowl.  I saw the nine ducklings for the first time, just a few days old.

Ducklings

IMG_3436

We’ve seen two small groups of goslings in the last week or two, and today we came across the latest goose family, resting on the back shore of the Pond. Seven goslings! I think this is the mother goose who was nesting on the hill. I was transfixed. What is it about baby animals that appeals more than baby humans? Everyone seems to love them.

Mother Goose with Goslings

As I watched, the little ones gathered around their mother, and she let some of them crawl under her wing.

Goslings Crawling under Mothers Wing_small

It was one of the sweetest things I’ve seen.

Gosling Climbing on Mothers Back_small

Climbing on mother’s back.

Mother with Gosling under Wing_small

All together, mother and babies.

All Close to mother_small

Just look at the one little gosling’s head sticking out from under its mother’s wing!

I had to tear myself away from this heartwarming scene as Peter was waiting. I’ll look for this goose family every time we walk around the Pond.

The early summer flowers are out at the Pond and in gardens on Pond Street.

Later, in the afternoon, I prepared a tea tray with my June plate and teacup and had a lovely tea on the chaise longue, with soft breezes wafting in the windows. It gives me great pleasure to use my china in a seasonal way, and so I only use the June china in June and enjoy it all the more when its turn comes around. June is my birth month and a special time for me every year. Welcome June!

Tea Tray June 1st

Tea on June 1st

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Nesting

Goose Nesting

A week ago I wandered off the paved path at the Pond and followed the dirt path along  the south shore of the Pond. There, to my amazement,  I found this goose sitting on a nest in the open on the little hill above the Pond. I had always wondered where the ducks and geese hide their nests, as I’d never seen one before in all the years I’ve walked at the Pond. I’ve been back twice, including this afternoon, and each time the lovely mama goose is sitting as calm as can be on her soft nest in a slight depression in the ground. She let me approach quite close. I spoke to her in soothing tones.  I will visit again, and it will be so interesting to observe this process and see the goslings in a few weeks. I’ve known many sets of goslings over the years and have watched them grow up–so fast!

Here’s the male goose, who came up out of the water.

MaleGoose

 

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Squirrels in the Public Garden

IMG_0901Over the years of walking in our parks, I’ve come to love the graceful, leaping squirrels who live in the trees. In the Public Garden, where they live surrounded by people, they’re tame enough to eat out of humans’ hands. I give them pecans and walnuts and love to watch them eat, holding the nuts in their delicate hands as they sit up on the ground or on a tree branch or sometimes as they hang upside down on a tree trunk! The Public Garden squirrels are among the world’s most privileged: every time it snows, many people think of them and bring them nuts. Continue reading

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My favorite goat

I look forward to seeing this goat when we visit Honey Pot Hill Orchard in Stow on a fall ride to the apple orchard country west of Boston.


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The Sweetest Goat

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October 22, 2009 · 3:54 pm

The Goats of Castle Rock


June 2009

A stupendous landscape in North Devon…one of the best places I’ve been, although I say that about many places in England.  The cliffs in Lynton are the highest in England.  The wild goats roam free.  They’re not at all afraid of humans.  One morning I found a group of them on the North Walk path, and they  just walked away quietly as I approached.  Two white goats  moved to the edge of the cliff and stood looking out to sea, as if posing for me.

For several days as I walked the cliff paths and the Valley of the Rocks, I saw the goats grazing on the gorse throughout the area.   They’re most amusing with their long beards and curving horns and quizzical looks.

One evening I was alone on the summit of Hollerday Hill just before  sunset when two male goats began banging their horns against each other.  From the clash of horns it sounded as if they were trying to kill each other.  I stood transfixed for about five minutes while this ritual went on.  The goats reared up on their hind legs, charged at each other, banged their horns together.  All the while a female goat grazed peacefully in the background.  The setting sun trailed a  dazzling path over the sea, a cold breeze ripped across the hills, and I was alone on the hill top, watching these goats  enact this ancient ritual.

From the top of Hollerday Hill one actually looks down on the massive Castle Rock, and the entire Valley of the Rocks is spread out below.  In an inland direction green hills roll away to the horizon.  It doesn’t get much more spectacular than this.

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