GNN: A Twist

Goose News Network (GNN)

I’m back from vacation and would you believe, I thought about these silly geese almost daily while I was gone. In fact, there was a funny incident where we saw some geese somewhere in Germany, and I said to Ross, probably a dumb question but are there Canadian geese in Europe? He replied, DUH, NO MOM, CANADA? And I said, of course, of course. A couple of days later, in Luxembourg, we saw Canadian geese by the water. And Ross immediately retracted his earlier words and apologized for saying my question was dumb.

Anyway, I didn’t ride Metro yesterday because I just didn’t feel like it on my first day back, but I rode this morning, mostly so I could check in on Rosemary and Joseph. Sure enough, there was Rosie, sitting on her nest in the median:

Rosemary aka Mother Goose

I kept a respectful distance, as I always do, but as I was slowly walking towards her, I noticed this:


Look – it’s one lonely goose egg in a hole, a few feet away from where our avian heroine was busy incubatin’. How? Why? Was this the original nest and she had to move to another one? Or did she remove the doomed egg from her nest? Or maybe some curious human moved it?

As soon as I boarded the train, I Googled, “why do geese abandon eggs.” And I learned that the Humane Society has a “Canada Goose Egg Addling Protocol” – addling means “loss of development” and there’s a contraceptive drug that can, with a federal permit, be administered to reduce hatching in order to “manage population humanely.” Geese who consume the contraceptive will lay eggs, but those eggs won’t hatch. They’re infertile. There are other ways to addle eggs, too.

Yes, I know that it’s important to control the goose population, for a bunch of reasons, but I’d be lying if I said this didn’t make me feel kind of sad, to think that some goose mamas lay and incubate eggs that never hatch.

Is that what’s up with the mystery egg? Perhaps it happened naturally. It stands to reason that it might.

I pondered this as I walked towards the station. All the way on the other side of the garage, I found Joseph, perched atop a sewer lid in the bank leading to the station entrance:


That’s the farthest I’ve seen him from Rosemary. Did they have a tiff? Are they grieving? Is she giving him the silent treatment?

Am I over-anthropomorphizing these geese?

Probably. But that’s OK; this is entertainment, not science.

Stay tuned!


The Goose News Network

About a year ago, in a busy parking lot at Shady Grove Metro station, I noticed a goose sitting in the median. It seemed like she was always there when I went to park. Sometimes, there was another goose too, either next to her or nearby, on the asphalt. He cast menacing glances my way. I was like, dude, back off, I’m just trying to park right here, by this other goose. Relax.

It finally dawned on me, after a few days, that this was a mama goose, sitting on her nest of eggs! And the other goose must be the proud papa.

(I can sometimes be a slow learner. Don’t judge.)

I started posting snapshots a few times a week to my Facebook page. A friend (thanks, Marcy!) suggested I call these updates the GNN: Goose News Network. And thus, a Thing was born.

The goose sat there in the median from March into early April. She weathered snow and rain. Mama was always on the nest, and her baby-daddy (I guess?) hovered nearby. She sent him out get her food to fulfill her cravings. He dropped off her drycleaning and put gas in her car. I anthropomorphized them. I grew kind of attached. And as I shared my observations with my Facebook friends, I amassed a bit of a following.

One morning in April, I saw baby fluffy chicks! Then a day or two later – they were gone, leaving behind a down-lined crater about the size of the hole in my heart. I had grown somewhat attached to this bird family. I was concerned for their welfare – after all, they had made their home in the median of a busy parking lot. But the parents took care of their babies, and off they went.

So you can imagine how giddy I was yesterday when I noticed that mama goose was back, and big daddy was standing sentry nearby! I walked by, not too close (she hates that) but close enough to grab a quick photo:

Mother Goose.
A mama goose settles onto her nest in the median of a busy parking lot.

I shared it to Facebook and quickly received many excited comments, and 100 likes. There’d have been 101 likes, though, if my mom was still around. She was quite tickled by my goose posts last year. If I went a few days without posting an update, she would ask about it.

And that’s why this year, mama goose shall be named Rosemary.

Also, since it’s a Thing again, I made a new graphic. I’ll post updates here this year, and share the link to Facebook.

Welcome back.

Goose News Network (GNN)