Sunday, May 2, 2010

NESTING GOOSE oil on canvas (5 x 7 in.) SOLD!

1 May finds me at the Lester Road wetland on the south side of Ottawa.  We parked by the tracks, and Cheryl said "Come see!!"  She led me along the road shoulder flanking the wetland.  The air is full of traffic noise and Redwing Blackbird song.  The shrubby gray barked willows are all breaking out in misty green leaf.  Scanning the edge of the marsh and looking for something like a Redwing Blackbird nest, I suddenly saw the Canada Goose, head down, hiding...  enthroned atop a huge mound of cattail leaves, piled up within a willow clump.  The weight of what must be several years' accumulation of dry yellow blades has spread the willows' stems into more of a splayed shape than those of its neighbours.  The straw texture transitions to a fluffy layer of goose down at the top, and atop that, the Goose herself, matching perfectly!  Cheryl says that the male's cheek patches meet at the top of his head, and she figures that this is the female because she's on the nest more of the time.

At 14:26 Fred and Cheryl are walking the railroad tracks to monitor the Cepaea snails, and have left me here with the goose.  As I sit, she eyes me warily.  Her head is raised now.  The cars rush past behind me, a noisy part of the landscape, but I'm a new addition to the neighbourhood and must be watched.

Blades of grass emerge green from the water here and there, but the cattails leaves have not started to shoot up here yet.  We've already had a meal of them at home.


  1. Rose-Marie BurkeMay 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    It always amazes me how such a large bird can blend into their surroundings, often you don't see them until you're right on top of them. And they see you coming from a mile away! I like the way the goose is hunkered down in this painting, the colours are so typically spring-like.

  2. Cheryl Doran wrote on 19 May

    "Mamma had her hatchlings... Mamma and Dad look so proud of them.

    Dad stands closest to the road, Mamma closer to the water but still on the side ready to tell those babies not to go on the road.
    And those little babies are so CUTE!!! Little puff balls. Adorable!!"



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