Homer at his home in December at Ashley Pond. Photo by Ken Hanson
By PAT MAX
Formerly of Los Alamos
The last several years the Los Alamos Daily Post has had several stories about Homer, and I thought folks might like a little more information.
I’m probably one of the few who still has it because it’s all in email that I have sent to and received from various Los Alamos County folks from 1997 to 2012.
The story of Homer the goose at Ashley Pond began in the late fall/early winter of 2006 before Homer hatched when the aerator pump broke, the pond froze, and the ducks and one goose were subjected to life threatening conditions. Eight ducks were rescued. The remaining ducks and the goose disappeared.
There was an effort to excuse the County’s actions in not appropriately caring for the ducks and goose by at least one County staff member who tried to convince everyone that they were wild and would fly south. The cruelty to these domestic animals was inexcusable and violated state and county laws.
The eight rescued ducks lived next door at Bob and Cathy Anderson’s. An organization was formed, Duck Buddies, to encourage contributions from the community to care for the animals and to promote their relocation to the pond in the spring.
In early spring of 2007, my family contributed four baby Pekin ducks (white) and two baby geese, which I purchased at the feed store in Espanola. The Elks contributed two baby domestic mallards and two baby Swedish ducks. They also lived at Bob and Cathy Anderson’s.
Several of us helped take care of them because they needed cleaning up daily. I took care of the geese, and because of how loud they were, I named them Homer and Jethro after the country music duo of Henry D. “Homer” Haynes and Kenneth C. “Jethro” Burns.
Baby ducks and geese sold at feed stores are not sexed like chicks, so you have no idea if they are male or female. It was not until later in 2007 or into 2008 that we discovered that Jethro was really Jethlene!
Unfortunately, she was carried off by a coyote several years later.
Homer is now 14 years old.