Our meadow is as lush as I’ve ever seen it. Thick grass reaches past my knees and spreads in a green swathe from fence row to fence row, sparkling with buttercups. The elusive meadowlark, my favorite songbird, trills sweetly from secret places hidden in the green. Rarely, I catch a flash of yellow as it flies, just before it tucks down again. Sandy brown killdeer dart around the edges of the pond on long legs, sounding that wild funny cry peculiar to them.

Green-blue water fills the banks of the pond, painfully parched last summer. Migrating mallards and ruddy ducks ripple over the surface, bobbing bottoms up. The air fills with gossipy quacks. Ducks are contented creatures. Not so our plump gray and white barnyard geese. Their honking clash and chatter punctuates life on the farm, more or less, depending on their current level of hysteria.

Some of these geese have been here time out of mind, waddling about with broken useless wings. They remind me of nervous old ladies who can’t find their glasses and are forever misplacing their grandchildren. More than once we’ve rescued a frantic gosling inadvertently left behind by its addled elders in a hole wallowed by the cows. Silly, silly geese. I chide the dogs when they’re tempted to chase and annoy them--too easy and it doesn’t seem fair. Our dogs aren't nearly as bold around the Canadian geese that also nest here. The gander fiercely defends his young and doesn't accept excuses.


  1. Beth Trissel // May 25, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

    I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when my family moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia--the home place of our family for several centuries and the place I was born.

  2. Miss Mae // May 25, 2008 at 10:17 AM  

    Sounds lovely and peaceful...:)


  3. Beth Trissel // May 25, 2008 at 10:23 AM  

    Ahhhhh....until the calves start bawling and the cows decide its time to eat---Now! After tummies are full again it settles down. Until, the geese get into a fight over who won at the last round of croquet...

  4. Keli Gwyn // May 25, 2008 at 11:02 AM  


    Great description. Beautiful imagery. I feel as if I'm there.

  5. Beth Trissel // May 25, 2008 at 11:41 AM  

    Thanks Keli. You'd love it here.

  6. Mary Marvella // May 25, 2008 at 1:43 PM  

    Reading your descriptions is like being there. You are good!

  7. Nightingale // May 25, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

    Reading this piece, I got a serene Sunday feeling. Lovely, Beth. I wish I could have visited while I was on my road trip. Is the picture from your farm?

  8. Beth Trissel // May 25, 2008 at 6:51 PM  

    Thanks ladies. I wish you could have too, Linda. This pic was taken by my mother not far from here.

  9. Pat McDermott // May 26, 2008 at 6:17 AM  

    Such a gorgeous place, Beth. Do you get distinct seasons like we do in New England?

  10. Beth Trissel // May 26, 2008 at 11:09 AM  

    Yes, Pat, we do. The valley is as far north as you can go and still be in the South.