Archive for the goose talk Category

Wee babies

Posted in family, goose talk, home, life, nice things, pets with tags , , , on July 8, 2008 by bosquechica
Goslings in a basket

Goslings in a basket

Here are the goslings I brought home from a feed store last week. They are half grown already, but in this photo they are still peeping fuzzballs, sitting in a laundry basket on a rug in the kitchen.

We’ve named them Abelard and Heloise. Pointers for new farmers: don’t name your goslings until it’s clear that they are strong and likely to survive. They are fragile when first hatched.

They’ve more than doubled their size since then. Today, they chewed on my shoes, ran around the coop flapping their short awkward wings, and made whooping sounds that sounded a lot like adolescent giggles.

Their favorite food right now is grass. Stomped upon. See green carpaccio for more on that.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gardener

Posted in farm, food, garden, goose talk, life, pets, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2008 by bosquechica
Green carpaccio

Green carpaccio

This morning, I was reading Orion Magazine while eating a mushroom and parsley omelette. There was a review in the magazine of a book called “Recipes for Geese and People” by Natalie Jerminjenko (reviewed by Eric Wagner).

No recipes for goose, cooked or raw, will be found in this book. Rather, it is about the overlapping foods of people and geese. Nice. Pointing out our common ground — quite literally — here is a recipe for a green “carpaccio” taken from the review. In this case, the recipe references the habit geese have of walking on and smashing the fresh green grasses and other growing things in their environment and then eating them fresh, flat and juicy.

Carpaccio typically refers to raw meat (usually beef), smashed flat and thin in parchment paper, then sprinkled with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. As you might expect, though, this carpaccio is vegetarian (as are geese).

Here’s the gist of the recipe as reprinted in Orion, modified and paraphrased to suit my mood.

Take a variety of fresh greens — chard, spinach, cabbage, mint, basil (whatever is appealing and available). Wash, trim the tougher stems, blanch briefly in very cold water and pat dry. Lay the leaves flat on a sheet of parchment paper (sturdier leaves on the bottom). Cover. Smash with your hands, then with a rolling pin. Basically you’re massaging the greens to pull out the juices. Peel the paper off, lay flat on a plate, drizzle a bit of olive oil and lemon or balsamic, salt and pepper and serve, as a pesto, or on some very thin crispy crackers, I would think.

I should say that although I am not vegetarian, I am a bit tender about geese (you will know this is you have been reading along). So for me this is a friendly concept that reinforces my sense of geese as part of the larger flock of social animals. Geese and ganders as gourmands not viandes.

What\'s for dessert?

What's for dessert?

Everything is in the driveway, and then it starts to rain

Posted in family, goose talk, home, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by bosquechica

……. and rain, and rain.

On Tuesday, as the wind is whipping up but before the rain begins, Mrs. Bosquechica spends hours climbing around on the roof in the heat (93F/33.88C), setting up the swamp cooler. I am on the ground, handing up wrenches and wire brushes and hoses. The carpenters are work demons – the first dumpster is filled, hauled off and a second dumpster is delivered. The afternoon heat rises, the winds are gusting, but the rain has not yet started. We brilliantly decide this would be a good time to clean out the pump house, which acts as household storage. We pull everything out and put it in the driveway.

Over the course of the next two days, the temperature drops 25 degrees. The wind howls. The driveway is full of half sorted storage, there are vacuum cleaners and fans scattered on the lawn, next to a partially cleaned woodstove that has been sitting in the barn for 20 years or so. The winds are up to 45 mph as the rain begins. The rain turns to hail. The ancient cottonwoods wave their arms and threaten to come down on our heads as we run around in the weather gathering armloads of soggy guilt. The dogs circle us in muddy galumphing joy, helping out by biting each other in the head and running in and out of the house with their big wet dirty feet.

Around that time, the toilet in the main bathroom breaks. The rain continues to come down, the wind is still blowing madly. Lightning strikes. My old laptop takes a hit during the storm, the OS is fried and it is now past time to buy a new one.

The carpenter is making sucking, picklish faces that make me wonder about his sciatic nerve and his prostate, both. His helper is soaked through but having the greatest time rummaging through our giveaway pile, presents for his wife. A lighted misting bowl on a copper pedestal stand! An arm bicycle! A black lacquered TV stand from the 1990s! A terrarium! A doghouse! A pump that almost works!

On Thursday morning, we call a plumber and a house cleaning service, and spend the day rummaging through the wet heaps still lining the driveway. By Thursday evening, the missus and I are so exhausted we can barely move. We sensibly take ourselves out to dinner, where we suddenly break down in a humiliating squabble over a shared hamburger. We sound like the geese attacking a UPS guy — honking honk HONK HONK or maybe even more like the guinea hen who makes a rusty crackling nervous KAH-KAH-KAH sound, very resentful and critical. All because the momentum created by even starting this project must mean we are insane. We collapse in the bed, face down and drooling, the instant we get home from the restaurant, and fall into a deep sleep.

Around 2 a.m., the cat shrieks suddenly at a skunk sneaking by outside the bedroom window. The skunk reacts, the window fan pulls in the fumes, the bedroom reeks. We put pillows on our heads and go back to sleep.

On Friday, the plumber replaces the toilet without drama – thank you, kind plumber! The housecleaner walks through the house, raises her eyebrows and her phone estimate by 25%. She quickly leaves in her enormous shiny expensive new truck with the huge monthly payments and does not look back. The carpenter’s helper tells me his wife loves her new arm bicycle. I get in my 17-year-old Toyota and go to various banks moving money around to pay for the first week of coop building. Kah-kah-KAH!

These are the most beautiful goose coops ever. And no, they are not done yet!

Pie face

Posted in goose talk, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 28, 2007 by bosquechica

eew! 

Friends brought a lemon meringue pie to dinner at our house. We don’t really eat much sugar, but birds love it. So we put the pie out for the geese the next morning.

It sat there for 24 hours. Hot day. It did not attract ants. The cats looked at it. The geese avoided it entirely. Eventually they examined it, then walked in it, then ate the crust.

Guess lemon meringue isn’t strictly food.

We’ll be having a strange adventure in Las Vegas this weekend. Back next week.

About my geese

Posted in goose talk on September 20, 2007 by bosquechica

As the snow began to fall, last Christmas: 

geese

Laurie and I have six geese, 4 different varieties:

  • 3 African geese: Alexander the Great;  his life partner, Bruce Hephestian; and Gloria LaGanza.
  • 1 Toulouse goose: Toot Sweet.
  • 1 Chinese goose: Vanessa La Ganza. 
  • 1 Sebastapol goose: Mrs. Frizzle.

What I know about geese

They are insomniac. Paranoid. Community oriented. Loyal. Poor problem solving. Talkative. Good listeners.  Predictable. Protective. Demanding. Vulnerable. Big bags of feathers and noise.

Habits and talents

Daily bathing. Standing on one foot, all together, staring out the gate at passing traffic. Hissing when deeply frightened. Slipping through any barely open gate.  Creeping up silently on unsuspecting bottoms. Master goosers.

The language of geese is very tonal. Dissonant when dissonance is called for, soft and melodic when all is calm. 

Characteristics of my very tame geese

They follow directions —

  • Go to bed (flock runs to coop and goes in)
  • Get out (flock runs away from yard, where they are ravaging the tender young grass)
  • Come on (flock runs with wings outstretched to get treats)

They comment, request and demand:

  • Stand back or I’ll (we’ll) goose you.
  • Come here, I want to tell you something (also sounds a lot like hey baby, hey baby especially in the spring — don’t turn your back!)
  • Help help there’s a coyote/dog/cow/horse/ or something in the yard!

I can’t seem to say what it is. The placid group wandering, the bright eyes, the running commentary. They let me stroke their breasts (when the mood strikes them). I periodically have to save them from some foolish danger — heads stuck in gates, trapped in the cane field, rushing to attack some unsuspecting visitor. Wherever I am on my wee little farm, there are six geese close by, telling me what they see and how they feel. I am in and of this flock.