He doesn't look like trouble, but he is!
He figured the shoreline was ours; shared as it is with his sister, Sady. They patrol the shore looking for all sorts of intruders: moles, mice, and usually leave the remains in the garage. The birds are too smart and vigilant for them, and seldom can Ollie sneak up on the robins in the clover.
Deftly winding his way amongst the baby-blue forget-me-nots, statuary and clover, Oliver approaches.
He crested the hill, in his nonchalant crouch, and spotted Pappa goose watching him like a hawk.
They know his style. He'd pluck their feathers in an instant.
Oliver doesn't seem fazed that they are thrice his height and weight.
With a severe 'honk' everyone falls into line. The two dads face Oliver bravely. Hissing and doing their murppy/honk sound that told the goslings to move it or lose it.
The troops gathered —if not under then near — the mothers' bodies, in the blink of an eye. Dad's lowered their necks and gave Ollie the evil eye.
They are so entertaining!
Off they swim, in search of their delightful morsels: bugs, my water hyacinth, greenery of any shape and size, which will likely be as early as the others flora this year.
The muskrat has already been into the frog pond, ripping out the juicy stalks and leaving a path of chaos in its wake. I've seen signs of him in various bays around the lake. Settling down to a good feed, leaving the leaves behind. Good to know that the cycle of life continues.
Mr. Casual feline, non-plussed, ambled on over to see me as if to be complimented on the good job he did herding 4 adults and 11 goslings. (I finally was able to count them!) I was rather impressed, as his bark is worse than his bite. He runs at them because he can, and they plead uncle, running at great speed for the safety of the water.
The wee ones copy the adults: washing in the water, shaking off the dust, mites and drying their stubby, useless wings.
Little caramel-feathered motorboats, zipping here and there, plucking the bugs off of the leaves.
The goslings' wings are little stubby things right now. The adults do not hesitate to nip at a wee one in their way. Then they take it out on the one next to them. All is not well in paradise.
'He looked at me funny!'
Moms and Dads ignore them!
One little junior called his cousin a name. Throwing those nasty words around like sticks and stones.
'You take that back!'
Meantime, Butch returns, ambling along looking for some grubs. She didn't find much, the goslings having cleaned up. Few snails, bugs, or greenery remain in their wake. Bless their little souls!
Sady had an encounter with Butch yesterday, or the day before. It's all an act. She thinks she can fake it, but I know her.
The sunfish are happily sunning.
In another camp, this large fish (below) was patrolling her egg-laying spot. I'm not sure what kind of fish, any ID help would be appreciated, as I am a bit of a luddite in the fishing world! Lake trout, I think. Our Muskoka Lakes have been stocked in the fall and many minnows school themselves in the work of finding food. Collecting in a quicksilver collide, shadows belying their nearly invisible presence.
(Download the 2009 Fish Stocking List by clicking here. PDF)
I managed to take a video of her swim patrol. Not the best video ever, but you can see the back and forth motion. I would guess she is about 12" long. I was sorry I pissed her off so, but left soon. Fish often create a nest by fanning away debris, then they guard the nest.
I am appalled with the garbage I have been collecting from around the lake. I keep bringing it back: lures, beer bottles, plastic, eavestrough plastic/vinyl covers, plastic balls...
And I made 30 cents in sunk beer cans, picking up the other plastics I found at the shore.
Man's inhumanity towards nature.
We have a list of original cottagers, from a 1969 list of our lake association. These people, all in their graves, must rage at the mess some leave.
I hope I leave the world a better, cleaner place. If we all did our part...
Camera Critters #111