Meet Fred & Ethel.
These two regulars are part of the Arbor House Inn B&B funny farm. They cruise through South Fork every spring and raise their family on the banks of the river right around April or May. There’s actually about three pairs that roam these three acres, and although we’re not exactly sure where the geese property lines start and stop, Fred & Ethel have the main section along the river that seems to run from Camp Calvin down to the porch swing at Piper’s Party Pit.
Canadian geese mate for life and have very low “divorce rates.” There used to be another guy that we lovingly considered the weird uncle that we called George, whom we believe was the remainder of a second goose pairing that would visit years ago. George was very social fellow and would come hang out on the wall while we mowed the lawn or swing by for snacks at happy hour while people were on the deck.
During the few weeks that Fred & Ethel are here in the spring you can find them out for their evening stroll as they take their promenade through the pasture and head towards the greenhouse and eventually back to Camp Calvin. In the mornings they’ll join us for coffee out by the porch swing and enjoy a bit of “duck chow” we toss their way…if they can get to it before the rest of the funny farm finds it.
Oddly enough, geese are actually pretty poor parents. They’ll get their goslings mixed in with other goose families and don’t really keep track of their numbers. They may come to the river bank with 8 and leave with 10. We’ve even seen them leave their babies with the faux geese decoratively stationed on the north side of the B&B. We’ve tried to tell them that the garden ornaments are not babysitters, but they don’t seem to care.
The goslings are absolutely adorable and we love having them around. Fred & Ethel stay here only a few weeks every spring, just long enough to expand their family, and then they all pack up and head out to their next destination…wherever that may be.