Mother Goose and Her Cookie Cutter Babies

An early picture of Carl Linnaeus, born in Småland. He is the founder of the modern system of biological nomenclature.

Today, a family of two mature Canadian geese and their brood hovered at the edge of the lake, the male and female squawking back and forth at one another, raising and lowering their heads in various stages of alarm as I moved closer and closer, camera lens outstretched.

Finally, they’d decided enough was enough, and that was the moment they waded away into the water. Here is the mother and her template-babies. The goslings look as though they were made with cookie cutters.

Canadian Geese are not native to Sweden, of course, even though the Canada Goose was one of the many species described by famous Swedish botanist, naturalist, and physician Carl Linnaeus in Systema Naturae (1735). Linnaeus was the first to make the connection between human beings and primates, beginning the argument that would not reach the masses until more than one hundred years later, when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Although this is not Mother’s Day in Sweden, like it is in the United States, happy Mother’s Day to all mothers everywhere! 


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