Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Swan Lake … or actually, Pond

About a week ago, I was watching for my son’s bus to arrive while he searched for a missing shoe.  As I gazed over at the pond situated across the street from my house, I jumped back at the sight of two large white birds.  “What the hell is that?”

The morning had been brilliantly bright and the sunlight reflecting off the water had been nearly blinding.  As I squinted, the long necked silhouettes glided to an area where I could more easily see them.  “What are they? Snow Geese?”

My son returned and took a look as well.  “They look like those big white birds in Morgantown.”

And then, I realized what they were – Swans!  I grabbed my camera and stepped out into the chilly morning, red plaid flannel pajama pants and all.  I waved to my neighbor leaving for work which reminded me that I may look a little silly running around outside in my pajamas and oh so fashionable purple Crocs.  But, I had to, had to, had to capture them in a photo before they flew away. Only, they didn’t leave.

The pictures I was able to get are okay.  I mean, I’m no nature photographer.  And anyway, I don’t know how anyone gets nature to cooperate.  For one thing, they don’t stand still and they don’t take direction very well.  (For a moment there, it felt like I was describing a photo session with my children!)

The pond across the street had been a major selling point when my husband and I first purchased our home over a decade ago.  The house was older and small, but not without its charms.  We had big plans to put on a fancy addition which has yet to happen.  Somehow our savings went into other “projects” like electrical work, a new heating/cooling system and the stock we first put into diapers that’s now been diverted into a massive collection of Legos and Barbies.  And yet, we still have the long, tall (though not energy efficient) windows facing out to an ever changing view of water, trees and wildlife.

And so, I have been enamored by our new addition to the scenery. 

The swans have become like new pets that I don’t have to worry about feeding, cleaning or taking to the vet.  I learned that their orange beaks indicate that they are Mute Swans.  Every now and then, they would do their little swan mating dance.  (They seem to have kept doing “the nasty” to the other end of the pond, which is fine by me.)  The swans do this head bobbing thing and then, they face one another creating a heart shape with their heads and necks - And, I thought that was something totally made up to sell Valentine’s Day cards!

Well, as I am sitting here typing this post, the pair of swans took flight.  Can you f-ing believe it?  They packed their swan bags and up and left.  I would have snapped a picture of them tree top flying over my house if my camera battery hadn’t died.  They left and I didn’t get a chance to properly name them.  I was thinking Shakespeare like Romeo and Juliet or royalty like William and Katherine or Hollywood like Brad and Angelina or hip-hop like Beyonce and Jay Z.  I was hoping they would build a nest and delight us all with little ones.   

Oh well, maybe they’ll return.  If not, I thank this un-named swan couple for the calming, stress-busting diversion of their presence. 

To learn more about Muted Swans, check out this site of a pond in Canada where the swans actually stuck around for more than a week.  The bottom of the site’s page tells a witness account of how territorial male swans tend to be.  I was reading it thinking, “Oh my God, why am I reading this?  This story is awful!  Look away before it gets worse!”  And then, the end turns out just fine, which had me saying, “You go girl!”  It’s worth checking out:

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