Lucky Sevens

Forgive me….but I just can’t get enough of my goose family. Yesterday, I had to check on them to ensure that they made it through their first night off the bale-their birthplace.
Of course, they fooled me again and were not to be found….so I started for home only to be be pleasantly surprised to find them in a smaller slough just a little closer now to our house! I’m hoping they will finally rest those goslings and make their permanent home in the big slough in view of our front room window!
On my next visit, this time with camera, they tried to elude me yet again. Found’em in the grass….mom and dad crouching down but the little ones looking around every which way. And yes, still the Lucky SEVENS.

Goose Sequel

It’s probably time to record a goose update. Between the gander and hubby and myself, we’ve been babysitting “our” nesting momma goose vigilantly throughout her 28+ days incubating her eggs.

Yesterday she hatched!!!! I couldn’t wait to get home from the office and check her out with her goslings. There was only one little fella that would give me the pleasure of popping his little head up …. The rest she kept closely concealed.



The following day, after hatching, is when she should coax them from the bale and take them to the closest water source. This crazy goose has me so mesmerized that I set the alarm for 4:30 this morning to be the first to witness this amazing event. But there she sat, snuggled down with her goslings … not looking like she meant to go anywhere.

Chores got underway and a couple hours passed. I went to check again, camera and binoculars strung about my shoulders and my worst nightmare….nobody was on the bale! I was feeling pretty disappointed that I had missed this “little show from nature” and then as I started heading back to the yard I saw a sight that completely devastated me….a pair of adult Canada Geese in the slough and no babies. Not again you two….why can you never succeed at this family-making thing? Why does that coyote or that hawk always win…year after year? We tried so hard to make conditions perfect for you and here we go again!

I decided I better get a picture of the empty bale so I could illustrate this sadness, but this time I walked instead of taking the quad. I walked dejectedly along too, when all of sudden, right there in front of me was the sweetest sight to behold….our goose pair with their entire family of seven goslings being guided to the southern most slough in the other direction! They, happily, had me fooled.


I continued to follow them right to the water and witnessed the first swim of the little ones. One tiny gaffer couldn’t quite keep up so it was comforting to watch the gander – his daddy – patiently wait for him, all the time ruffling his rear feathers as if to tell him…”hurry up!”


Finally, after five years of trying, trying, trying….our faithful pair of Canada Geese has their first family. The Lucky Sevens I call them. They are now as safe as they can be in their water-sourced home in our south field. We can count on them to continue to return here annually. You can bet we will have the bale condos set up and ready for them smack in the middle of this pond so the dangerous waddle in the field can be eliminated altogether.
Oh, and that pair I saw earlier? We figure they are a newly-matched Mr and Mrs who we anticipate will occupy the second bale which we will also set up in this pond. The more the merrier!!!


Being more involved with ranching duties means being involved with more of the unpleasant but necessary tasks. Like branding our replacement heifer calves. Hubby caught a shot of me working the brand on my prize tan heifer. I had picked her out as a keeper when first born. I love being able to identify her from the rest of the dark red animals in our herd. She’s one of those “pretty” animals.
So I was temporarily concerned about being the one to be applying her permanent mark….but then again….who better than I to be just a wee-bit more on the gentle side. I paid attention to rocking the brand with just enough pressure to evenly distribute the brand and after the few required seconds, I think I did a passable job. I was pleased that she didn’t struggle in the squeeze chute during the procedure. I’ll be less nervous about this part of the ranch chores in the future.
Branding is more important than ever now that the value of our animals is so high. This ensures our ownership is intact should we ever suffer loss or theft. We use an electric brand now that moves the process along so much more quickly and efficiently and humanely. In the past, using hot irons for each separate image on our brand…the L, the Z and the bar (-), would have required three separate applications.
The “girls” got a real treat after the branding session. They finally got out on grass from the pen they’ve been sharing for months. It’s such a pleasure to see them out on the range where they are meant to be.