Mother's day roses from my husband.
Yesterday, we took the day to ride our cruiser bikes to Golden, a 26-mile round-trip. Weather reports were warning of a storm blowing in later in the day, bringing snow, sleet and rain for the next few days, so we decided to get an early start and take in the sunshine while we could. When we left the house, it was in the high '70s and not a cloud in the sky.
The ride from our part of old Denver to Golden is a slight uphill grade most of the way - so slight that it's just enough to keep your blood flowing nicely. During the last couple of miles, however, there are some steep uphills which, on a road bike, I'm sure would be just a nice, light workout. On a 50-pound, three-speed cruiser, and carrying a 15-lb messenger bag, these foothills are brutal.
By the time we finally cruised down into the town of Golden, we were winded and starving.
We found an excellent deli which makes superb subs on homemade sourdough baguettes (mouthwatering) and took them to a little park down by Clear Creek (yes, that's the river you always see on the Coors commercials) for a picnic.
Just as we pulled into the park, a family of geese was wading out of the water and wandering up the grass to search for edibles.
I love the way the parents flank the babies, keeping pace with them in order to keep the unruly youngsters out of trouble.
Can you just hear that little burbling chick noise they make as they waddle? And the flap of their little, clumsy feet, still too big for them and not quite in control?
The chicks were eating furiously the entire time. I'm not sure what they find in the grass, but they were certainly ravenous.
The parents were hissing and clacking their beeks at us, just to let us know they had their eyes on us, and if we so much as made a twitch in the direction of their progeny, they'd be all over us like white on rice.
Grazing between their parents' feet.
After a bit, though, they apparently decided we were "OK", because they let down their guard a bit and allowed the little ones to wander right up close to us.
Seriously, can you stand it? How cute is that! Do you just love those too-big, leathery feet??
Eventually, the mama and papa goose herded their little 'uns back down into the river, and we were left to eat our sandwiches in the peaceful park. By this time there was just enough overcast to be comfortable, after a long, hot, scorching morning of riding.
Little did I know it, though...I had a stalker.
This girl (actually, I have no idea if it was a girl or boy, but we'll call it a girl), all by herself, wandered up on silent feet after the other goose family had gone. While I ate, she was sneaking up behind me, eyeing my sandwich, even poking her head in Mike's messenger bag.
Could you resist that face? I had a soft spot for her cause she was pigeon-toed like me.
So I finally relented and offered her a tiny crumb, thinking she'd dart away at the last minute like the geese down by our lake.
But up she crept on her leathery feet, with an in-turned walk that I recognize...
Stuck her head right out, with no sign of fear...
And quite gently took the crumb from my fingers. Geese can be pretty agressive with those hard, tough beaks of theirs, but this one was as gentle as my dog, even when her beak closed over the tips of my fingers. (You'll have to forgive me, I had a huge mouthful of sandwich during this entire series of pictures, which I was too distracted to finish chewing....hence the chipmunk cheeks.)
A satisfied goose.
"Is that all? I'm just sayin' — looks to me like you've got some sandwich left over, there..."