A goose has taken residence beside the koi pond, fortunately not on the side where I regularly lounge to relax, but on the far side. I watched as she (it is safe to assume a she) prepared her nest, and in order not to be rude to our guest I have not spied in the few minutes she’s away to see if eggs have been deposited. I assume yes, otherwise, why would she sit in place for hours? I am pleased to report that after some initial agitation, she has calmed down in the presence of the garden’s other residents (my wife and I). I am uncertain if she has confronted the large snake that resides in a void beneath boulders a few feet from her nesting spot, but I assume this is routine for geese with eggs, and what could I do anyway? It is not my place to interfere, no matter that I’m largely on the goose’s side.
A second goose, presumably her mate, hung around long enough one afternoon for me to witness a lover’s quarrel with a third, I suppose a second suitor but possibly a jealous spouse. Generally, I shoo geese away since I don’t care for their messes and there are two much larger farm ponds off two borders of our property, but now, rather than considering this a nuisance, I am fascinated.
Usually, a new resident in this garden is a new plant, and there are plenty this spring. For whatever reason, the mild early winter put me in a buying mood, with more than the average number of plants purchased, all considered essential for planting this spring. Most have arrived, with a few holdouts scheduled for the next few weeks from mail order nurseries that are most conservative about shipping until the weather is plenty warm enough. Of course, I’m anxious, and with a new greenhouse I’m able to take deliveries of fragile newcomers that otherwise would be too tender with the late freezes we’ve experienced this past week.
In recent weeks I’ve worked to fill niches in small boulder walls with succulents, but also native ferns and coral bells (Heuchera, above). There’s not much space, and little soil, but these grow atop stones in local forests, so their needs are minimal besides a shaded spot. So far, the new plantings are fitting in, even if I had no clue where they were destined when ordered, and I expect new plantings will be around much longer than our new friend, the goose.