Oh, wait, there was a snake there too, wasn't there? Never mind. I guess this IS the Garden of Eden.
This is a brown water snake, completely harmless to humans, but disturbingly interested in our goslings.
In the last post's pictures of the goslings, where their parents were leading them onto the shore, this was the reason.
We saw the snake heading from across the pond toward the near shore so we ran down to get the pictures. It met up with another snake near here, then they split off, and this snake headed for where the geese parents and babies were browsing in the shallows. The geese swam away for a while, then headed up onto the shore. They didn't seem particularly perturbed, so I am assuming they don't consider the snake a serious threat, since it was clearly visible.
Still, getting the babies onto the shore seems like a good precaution. I was pretty glad to be on the shore myself.
I was reading up on the brown water snake, and a herpetologist was complaining about how many of them get killed through being mistaken for the poisonous water moccasin. He said that the snake will drop out of a tree onto a fisherman's boat, and the first thought is 'kill, kill, kill,' and 'then getting the bullet-holes out of the boat is almost an afterthought." Can't you just picture it?