Lately, everywhere I turn, everything I do, I see pairings. Nature all around me is courting and matching up. Maybe it’s just the season, spring springing and all that. Maybe it’s because I’ve written a few romances and my mind is attuned to that sort of thing. Whatever the case, spring seems to be the season for love. Just yesterday, I learned of an engagement in the immediate family.
I’m smiling. ‘Tis the season.
Prairie chickens prefer expansive grasslands like the tallgrass prairie on the west side of the road where I set up my observation post – or the big wheat field with its emerging carpet of green to the east of the road, which is where I usually find them. They’re usually several hundred feet from the road, so even with my 500mm telephoto lens, the results aren’t impressive.
Back at the farm, we’ve all sorts of romantic entanglements to observe. There’s Winifred the goose, who lost her mate a year ago. After a period of mourning, she took up with a strapping young rooster. They’re close companions, but she also has a conjugal relationship with Ferdinand, our male goose. His mate, Ingrid, doesn’t seem to mind. She and Winifred both laid eggs in the same nest. Two weeks ago, Ingrid settled in for a month’s setting to hatch out the eggs she thought were there. (I swiped them and replaced them with egg-shaped gourds so we didn’t risk losing the whole batch to a skunk raid like last year.) With Ingrid occupied, and Winifred cuddling up to her rooster, poor Ferdinand now must spend his days alone. Ferdinand apparently wasn’t wired for a solo existence. He’s taken up with a white bucket. Here he is singing love songs to his bucket. He does this several times a day.
To escape the madness of the barnyard soap opera, I headed out to the greenhouse for some weeding and harvesting. And what did I find?