We have a delightful park here in East County San Diego known as Lindo Lake. As lakes go it's small but often visited.
The walking path around the lake is approximately 1-1/2 miles and most of the trails are shaded by trees. The lake is not deep, perhaps five feet or so.
The lake is home to squirrels, ducks, birds of all breeds, an occasional pelican, a stray seagull or two, and a long-legged crane.
On any morning dozens of people can be found walking their dogs or folks who get serious in their attempt to remain fit. Most are keeping a protective eye out for the pair of Canadian geese who are sitting on eggs at a narrow spot close to the walking path, next to the water.
The female spends most of her time sitting on her eggs, keeping a watch on the people passing by, and her mate stands at the edge of the path, not more than a foot from your thigh, watching everyone.
Sometimes you will find a group of walkers taking a minute or two to look at the feathered family. They make a very handsome couple and most people are anticipating when the "big day" will arrive.
After weeks of watching these geese, my wife and I were heartsick to walk by four days ago to see only the female, as always, sitting her eggs, with the father nowhere to be seen.
For the next few days we stopped to pay our respects to the mom, and I think all of us said a prayer that she would be reunited with her mate, but inside, we felt he must have been a victim of predators.
Today, when we went for our walk and looked across the grass picnic area and saw the male waddling his way across the grass to his mate. He greeted her with what I swear was a kiss, then resumed his sentry duty by the road. As we came around the park for the second time, there he was, looking at his reflection in the bumper of a truck, picking bugs and whatnot from the grill.