Oh my goodness! I have always thought that my Julian was the bees’ knees and a right clever clogs. But since he brought home his father’s lathe … well, just call me blown away and even more besotted with my lovely man and his endless hidden talents :-)
So here we are, winter is fading fast and spring pushing its way forth. Our fruit trees are covered in wee buds – you should have seen the almond tree – covered in dear little tightly furled pink buds which the wretched bloody rosellas ate yesterday – aaaaargh! The days are longer. The bread rises oh so fast. And the geese are laying eggs.
See, geese only lay once a year. Well, you know, they lay up to eight eggs over a period of a couple of weeks. But they don’t lay at any other time. Like wild birds, they only lay to reproduce. And our dear girls – Madonna and Francesca – are slowly and carefully adding more eggs to their clutch in the little A-frame house.
We originally built that house for the ducks, but they outgrew it quickly – in size and number. So we thought the geese might like it and filled it with lovely fresh straw. Alas, our geese are wilful and dreadfully hard to herd, and so have never slept in there. Oh no, they insist, every night, on sitting out under the moon and stars, their heavily feathered butts on the freezing ground. Even in the pouring rain and relentless wind. Bizarre! Which leaves them susceptible to foxes and that means we have to keep the unsightly orange plastic electric net fence up. Oh well.
But then we began to notice Madonna and Francesca disappearing into the A-frame for hours on end whilst Guiseppe stood guard. Such glee! I checked many times over the first few weeks – nothing. Until one morning, there was a HUGE, heavy, perfect white egg. Naturally, I now – when the geese are up at the pond (very depleted – there’s been no rain for a couple of weeks) – crawl in and inspect their nest for new eggs. And every few days, yes there’s another one buried deep in the straw, as cold as ice.
We haven’t yet decided how to proceed with this. Clearly we would love goslings – we bought our trio of Pilgrim Geese as breeders for future meat birds. Goose for christmas sounds marvellous indeed! But we don’t know whether to leave the eggs where they are and let Madonna and Francesca have a go at hatching them. Or pop the eggs into an incubator and see how that goes. Hmmm ….
Of course we don’t want to distress the geese by taking their eggs and making them feel that the A-frame is unsafe and therefore no more eggs for us! And the plastic eggs you can buy at the ag shop are a very small substitute – I don’t think the geese would be so easily duped. So Julian decided to turn some eggs.
This morning, he hunted through the wood shed to find a good bit of tree trunk. And, completely bewitched by the idea of that lump of rough dark wood turning into a smooth egg, I set up a garden chair in the doorway to his workshop and watched with bated breath.
It was magical! I know people can create exquisite and intricate things with wood lathes and this is just an egg. But I had NO IDEA my dear man could do this!!!! Oh the possibilities ahead of us! I foresee wonderful candlesticks and lampbases, wooden bowls, table legs, staircase rails … all made from the trees on our land. And of course eggs. I think there will be many more eggs. How awesome is that!?
Julian carefully liberated his finished egg from its wooden uterus (hee! hee! hee!) and I gave it a quick rub with some lovely fragrant beeswax. Julian worries that the geese mightn’t like that smell – oh well, that means I can keep this egg and he’ll just have to get to making more for the geese!
Truly, I think this is the most precious and beautiful egg I’ve ever been given.