Newly-hatched Canadian Goslings are definitely a sign of the new life that blankets the earth each spring.
I have written previously about the difference between snapshots and photography as art. A snapshot is a capture of a moment in time. Fine Art Photography methods create images that make the moments timeless. This is my attempt to follow the Canadian Geese at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park and turning their behaviors into icons of timeless promises of spring.
Getting eye to eye with these goslings requires down and dirty postures. But that also provides for a renewing connection with the earth and the web of life. Low evening light and the soft light just after sunset were perfect for these captures. Timing and technique are just as important as subject and spirit to create standalone images and storytelling sequences.
Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are among the most familiar birds in our area, easy to identify, and symbolize nature for many people. No one can miss the clear honking call of Canada geese when they fly overhead in their V-shaped formations.
There are two groups of Canada geese: migrating and non-migrating (often called resident) geese. For a goose to migrate, it must be taught the flight path by its parents. Resident geese will stay year-round in the vicinity where they were born.
Canada Geese begin nesting at age three and adult pairs stay together for life, or until one dies. They are able to raise one “clutch” per year. Eggs hatch after 25 to 30 days of incubation. The young, called goslings, can walk, swim, and feed within 24 hours. In areas where there is less danger of predators or hunters, the goose and gander may raise as many as ten to twelve goslings.
Both parents (especially the gander) vigorously defend the goslings until they are able to fly, which is at about ten weeks. The young geese remain with their family group for about a year. Watching these icons of spring can lead us to see life in a new way – life itself is a creative act, full of goodness, vitality, passion and all things fuzzy and warm!