"Beware of the goose family," says an improvised sign at the entry to a local medical facility off of Harrison Street. "STOP! Authorized Personnel Only," the red stop sign declares, though it might more appropriately say "Unauthorized geese only."
Flattering, I guess, to have a goose family set up shop in this unlikely habitat, next to a busy building, like a mobile zoo that makes office calls. Maybe they feel safer on the elevated ground, or feel at home under the foundation planting of native arrowwood. Every goose knows that Viburnum dentatum is one of the more attractive shrubs growing in floodplains.
That's the female sitting on her nest in the foreground, with the male standing guard some distance back.
The warning signs probably went up after a passerby reportedly came too close and got knocked to the ground by a bop on the head, curtesy of the protective male. The geese, I hear, used to nest down along the nearby stream, but if our experience with chickens in the not so distant past is any indication, the predators have upped their game and may pose a threat even to the formidable goose.
I was impressed that the Goose Family in Residence program is being allowed to continue, and suggested they install a 24/7 Goosecam to broadcast on the internet. Not sure what the bucket is for: donations for the ducklings?