while having coffee

looking from the window

at pink camellias

-- haiku by Selma Soss, Walnut Creek

She's back!

I'm talking about Mother Goose. Remember her?

She's the Canada goose who has been nesting on the roof of the Contra Costa Times building, in Walnut Creek, every spring about this time for the last seven years.

Last week she flew back into town from wherever it is she goes during the winter months. She immediately started scraping up a nest of dried needles and little broken branches that had fallen from the redwood trees that grow alongside her little side roof.

This week she started laying eggs. As I'm writing this, there appear to be four eggs in the nest. It's hard to be sure because she moves around a lot. She usually lays a maximum of eight.

If she finishes laying eggs this week, that means they should start hatching right around Easter, sometime during the week of April 1-8. She has to incubate the eggs for 28 days.

As we have done in past years, we're setting up a "Mother Goose Cam" (a webcam) so you can use your computer, iPad, or smart phone to observe Mother Goose on her nest, 24-7, while all this is going on.

Let's hear a round of applause for Ray Saint Germain, our Senior Multimedia Producer, whose creative energies and talent helped rig the Mother Goose Cam for your edification and enjoyment.

As we get closer to the hatching time, I'll do my best to keep you posted both here and in my blog as I give my best guess about when I think those cute little goslings are going to start pecking out of the eggs. Believe me, that is a lot of fun to watch.

And, of course, the really big adventure takes place when Mother Goose flies down to the ground and coaxes her little chicks to make the approximately 14-foot jump off the roof so they can follow her to a nearby creek.

You haven't lived until you've seen that many reporters and editors in such a panic.

Over the years every single chick has safely made that jump. Mother Nature designed those fuzzy yellow tennis balls so they can ... but ... we'll still be out there trying to catch them in blankets, as always.

You can watch Mother Goose on her nest by going to www.mercurynews.com/pets-animals.

Let the fun begin.

Dear Gary: A year or so ago I took my grandsons to the Randall Museum in San Francisco.

We climbed the mountain to the top. There we saw a hummingbird fly straight up very high and then point his nose down and sky-dive very fast down along the mountainside. He then spread his wings and repeated the flight.

It looked like he was just having a good time. What do you think?

Marilyn,

cyberspace

Dear Marilyn: That male Anna's hummingbird was definitely having a good time.

That was a courtship flight you were watching. The male Anna flies straight up for 200 feet, turns and dives straight down, making a 90 degree turn just a foot above the ground, and then does the whole thing all over again.

If the female hummingbird, who is probably watching from a nearby tree, is impressed by the male's flying skills, she may pick him for her mate.

What's in my blog

Adopt pets this weekend:

  • Oakland Animal Services, 1101 29th Ave., Oakland, has bunnies to adopt, noon-5 p.m. both days.

  • Contra Costa Animal Services has a "St. Pitty's Day Adopt-a-thon," noon-3 p.m. Saturday at Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Pit bulls will be up for adoption.

    Read about those and more in my blog at www.ibabuzz.com/garybogue.

    Contact Gary Bogue at garybug@infionline.net; or write Gary, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.