Image #227 – Tango and the Bronco

Tango and the Bronco

That’s Tango behind the wheel of a classic Ford Bronco.  I chose this picture to inaugurate a new category, Travels with Tango, which will become a staple on this site in coming weeks. Tango will be my co-pilot on a cross-country trip and you can bet there will be lots of pictures.

I’m heading to Oregon for the 8th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics sponsored by Patients Out of Time.  I’ll be speaking on the history of the issue at a pre-conference meeting for nurses. There are some great papers that will be presented at the meeting from a number of international researchers. Patients Out of Time has been at the forefront of cannabis therapeutics education and they deserve a lot of credit for their consistent focus on education.

Along the way I will be stopping in Columbia, Missouri to speak at the statewide Show Me Cannabis conference on April 26th and from there I will head to Denver where I hope to meet with many people and learn about Colorado’s medical marijuana program as well as the general legalization that was implemented this year.

Becoming re-engaged in the medical marijuana issue is fascinating and I plan to write about my adventures, what I learn and how I feel about the current state of affairs. For those of you who are interested in this sort of thing I encourage you to visit and follow my other (new) blog Writings of a Medical Marijuana Pioneer.  I want to keep aliceswanderland.com the mellow site that it has become so I will refrain from any medpot postings here. But stay tuned for lots of happy pictures from across this great county.  Oregon here we come! ❧

 

Image #230 – Caesar, the family goose

Image #230

Meet Caesar, the large white goose standing between two of his harem members. Caesar is a Roman Tufted Goose and according to Wikipedia:

The Roman Tufted was developed for exhibition. Due to its small size it is not suitable for commercial meat production, but is well suited for weed control and as a table bird for small families making it good choice for a backyard flock.

“[A] table bird for small families. . .”!!?? Yikes!  Well, this particular Roman Tufted Goose does not need to worry about such a end. Caesar has landed among a harem of three Tolouse geese at Mary’s farm in Sarasota. His job is enviable. He is to provide companionship, protection and, perhaps, an heir. He is a replacement for the recently departed Doodle who was excellent in all three required areas. Mary wondered if any goose could fill Doodle’s . . . webbed feet.  Well, I am happy to say that Caesar has not only met the mark,  he has surpassed it.

When I arrived in Florida last February Mary had only just gotten Caesar and wasn’t quite sure how things would work out.  It’s the old Romeo and Juliet, Tony and Maria thing. Would Tolouse geese accept an, ahem, goose of a different color? Things were a little tense at the start but then Caesar led the gals to the pond and, well, let’s just say that geese like to do it in pond. Love ensued. Eggs were laid… 20+ eggs is the last count I heard.  Of course not all eggs breed chicks but Caesar and the girls are working on that … clearly.

But the best part is that Caesar is a modern dad. Mary discovered him sitting on the nest a couple nights ago. She was quite amazed but we all know that Romans are definite familia-oriented. He is also definitely into protection. He attacked poor Tango on a couple of occasions, nipping his back end and inflicting no pain except for surprise. Tango would run away and Caesar would puff up, extend his wings and, if he could, crow.  But geese can’t crow. They make the most awful noise and it would take one to love one. Thankfully nature, and Mary, has taken care of that.  ❧

 

Image #216 – Tango’s Happy Dance

Image #216(1)Tango and I walked the celery fields in Sarasota today. It is a vast open space that was once farm land and has been preserved because of its tremendous benefit to the bird populations.  You may have guessed from the picture that Tango was really enjoying it. He did his happy dance several times. If there was any doubt of his happiness just look at this picture:

Image #216

I’m dedicating this post to my cousin Margaret who just got her beloved Zoe back after six months absence.  Here’s to happy dances on both coasts!❧

Image #211 – Good Geese!

Caesar

That’s Caesar in the white wings, feeling his oats I suspect. Caesar is Mary’s new male goose, recently acquired to replace the late and fondly remembered Doodle.  Caesar has been at Mary’s for about a month. I had the good fortune to observe his first dip in the pond.  The ladies were happy to join him.  They splash about and engage in reproductive as well as hygienic activities. Mary has wondered what the geese might look like who come from Caesar mating with the Toulouse geese.  Stay tuned . . . ❧

Image #191 – Snow Event

Image #191(1)We had snow today, at least three inches. It started in the early morning and lasted all day with varying degrees of intensity. I was delighted since it was what I had stayed for–winter.  Photographers want to record experiences and I wanted some pictures of winter. I’m not sure why. I hate the cold but, oddly, snow seems warm to me. Tango and I had a good walk in the early afternoon, up Potts Branch Road to Little Cove Rd.  The snow was coming down  steadily. It was quite lovely.Image #191(2)

Tango had never seen snow and he thought it was …well, who the heck knows what he thought?   He seemed to enjoy it. I could tell he was confused about smells. He would nuzzle his nose deep into the snow, trying to follow a scent. I worried a few times that he would topple over into one of the many creeks that was along our walk but he is too clever for that. In the end, as you can see, he was happy and, like me, enjoying the experience. ❧

Image #191

Image #185 – Life is Good, III

Image #185It became a fine spring day here in Franklin, NC on the 19th of January. The temperatures topped out in the mid-50s and, if you chose your position properly, the wind was not a problem. These two canines–Sweet Pea and Murphy–were clearly enjoying the day on Boni’s deck.  Poor Murphy is an old man. He can no longer navigate the stairs to go and “do his business” in the yard so he pees on the deck and Boni patiently cleans up after him. We should all hope for this when we are old–a warm place in the sun and someone to lovingly clean up after us. ❧

Image #184 – Life is Good, Part II

Image #184

That’s my friend Mary with two of her standard poodles.  Until I stayed at Mary’s house I had never spent any time around Standard Poodles. I can see the attraction to them.  Their intelligence is very obvious and they move with a certain grace that is hard to describe. I was hoping to get a nice portrait of Mary and her poodles but the picture above is as close as we got. Trying to corral these canines proved to be a chore, as the picture below demonstrates. The dogs had other ideas. ❧

Image #184(1)

Image #173 – Grieving Geese

Toulouse goose (gosling)
Toulouse goose (gosling) – June 2010

My friend Mary is mourning the loss of her male Toulouse Goose. His name was Doodle and he was twelve.  Three and a half years ago he fathered several goslings and I was fortunate enough to get their pictures.  Doodle is survived by a mate and two daughters who are greatly grieving his loss.  Mary wrote on Facebook,

After 12 good years of life he has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. If dogs and cats can go over, why not a much loved goose. His much younger mate and their two daughters are very lonely without him. If anyone has or knows of anyone within 100 miles of Sarasota, Fl who has geese please put me in contact with them. Many thanks.

The new male has big wings to fill. Doodle was an excellent protector and, of course, had been with his ladies for many years. Change is hard for all of us mammals.  I certainly wish the survivors well.  ❧

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