Here are a pair of mallards and a Canadian goose. We saw them together last year, well into winter, and then again as soon as the lake thawed in February. The goose concerned me. Geese are very social; this one did not mix with other geese.
There is an exhibit at the Japan Society in New York City, "A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints," in which many wakashu are depicted, young males who in Edo-period Japan are considered the height of beauty. For a short time only, after puberty, wakashu permissibly could have sex with males or females who sought them out. And so I thought of our "lone" goose. Maybe he hadn't had a late molt last year, or a set-back or a loss. Maybe this goose simply liked ducks. And the ducks liked him well enough. They shared a short time of species- if not gender-mix.
This week we have seen groups of odd-numbered geese, often 5, sometimes 3. We now think our lone goose is mixing with other geese. Whatever!