May 4, 2015 – It’s a beautiful spring day and perfect for a walk on Fort Frederick State Park’s Beaver Pond Trail.
As I approach the Paw Paw grove, a family of Canada Geese and cross the trail. With one parent keeping an eye on trail traffic, the other leads six fluffy offspring to the shore for an outing on the pond.
They waste no time getting into the water. The goslings travel between their parents as the family passes through a forest of Yellow Pond Lilies or Spatterdock.
In another part of the pond, I spot a Goose family of seven. These parents keep their children really close.
The peaceful scene suddenly turns dramatic as the lead goose begins honking and stomping its feet. An underwater threat, perhaps a large snapping turtle, is the likely cause. The other parent starts honking and kicking, too. The goslings struggle to stay together as waves toss them about. One raises its tiny wings, either to balance itself or in a desperate attempt to fly.
A few minutes later, the threat is gone. The family resumes its tight formation and continues its excursion.
On this windless day, the beaver pond has a mirror surface with double the beauty.
In the woods, white violets, wild mustard, paw paw and dogwood bloom.
As I leave on the park’s main road, a Red-wing Blackbird keeps close watch.