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Photo Essay: A Unique Day at the Ismaili Centre Toronto with the Birth of Six Beautiful Canadian Geese Goslings
There are several moments and days in my life that I remember but May 12, 2021 will be etched in my mind forever — and with clarity — because I saw the unique miracle of life at my favourite place on earth — the Ismaili Centre Toronto (ICT) with its attached sacred praying house, the glass domed Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana. With the Aga Khan Park, the three project site is the vision of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th Hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S.) and Hazrat Ali (A.S.), the first Shia Imam.
Please enjoy these photos and the video at the end which convey my happiness at being at the site on a day I was planning to go elsewhere (to the Toronto Botanical Garden, also known as Edwards Gardens), but changed my mind at the last minute; a providential intervention? Perhaps, but I became a witness to seeing six goslings at 9:45AM, a couple of hours after their mother had hatched them in a nest she had constructed from her own feather downs. I was then determined to see the goslings take the first walking steps, and patiently stood some 7-10 metres at an elevated position to watch that occur. I was prepared to be around for as long as possible, until total darkness fell.
As a side note, I will say that on the evening of May 6, six days before the birth of the goslings, I had seen the male goose in the centre of the courtyard of the Ismaili Centre standing alert for several minutes in one position before turning his neck to a new position (see next photo). Little did I know then about the nest being located immediately outside the glass doors of the Ismaili Centre, thinking instead that it might be located somewhere else within the vast Aga Khan Park. That was a brilliant strategy by the mother who built the nest. Geese return to the same area for nesting and giving birth to new goslings, so I hope to see the same Canadian geese again at about the same time in 2022!
At around 3:15PM on May 12, I heard the Canadian mother goose make a call! Shortly thereafter the father goose, who was about 150 metres away, made his grand appearance from the South East side of Aga Khan Park, and arrived at the scene of the nest. The 6 beautiful goslings emerged from the nest shortly after that, and took their first steps. What a moment! My new friend, Arnold Garson, originally from the UK, witnessed the event with me and supplied me on the following day a photo of the egg that remained unhatched! I also thank Toronto’s Farah Moledina for sending me a photo of the nest that had been prepared by the mother goose in readiness for laying her eggs (while a few individuals were aware about the location of the nest, they did not share the information with others, and rightly so).
WATCH VIDEO: FIRST STEPS IN THE LIFE OF A BABY GOOSE
Date posted: May 14, 2021. Last updated: May 16, 2021 (more photos and updates to narrative).
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