Monday, September 04, 2006
When we moved into our Hill Country home last January, there were four swans that greeted us. Literally. The first time we walked out to the small private lake behind our house, the male rose up, feet trailing, creating two large plumes of water as he flew toward us across the lake in that position. He made a loud trumpeting sound as he came straight at us. The female swans came behind but he was the spectacular one. I chose to take it as a greeting but others have told me he meant it more as a threat. But it was just too beautiful a sight to be threatening.
NESTED IN THE SPRING
Through the winter, they alternated between our lake and one just across the road. In the spring it was possible to see that one of the females was nesting there. The male swan stayed close to her and was very protective at that time. A friend of mine later saw the exodus of the mom swan and two babies in April. She said the male swan left in a different direction.
REMEMBERED THE "SWEET" SPOT
We really missed their graceful presence, hoped they would come back, and speculated about when that might be. Well! Friday I looked out and saw three swans land practically in my backyard. Two of them were gray and I remembered this was a sign they weren't full grown yet, even though they were almost the size of their mom. I grabbed my camera and snapped as many photos as I could before the sun went down. The first thing they did was take a lap around the old home pond in their stately, royal manner. Then they headed to the place where a neighbor often feeds corn to the ducks and swans. By that, I knew this was the same female as before and these were her two babies. Otherwise how would she have known of the "sweet" spot?
Imagine my surprise the next morning when I looked out and there were SIX swans, five of them grey. Where did the other three come from? My husband observing how dependent they were on the mama swan decided that she must have led the first two here and returned overnight to get the other three. At first we were confused about where she could have gotten the others, since she had only been seen with two when she left. After thinking it over, it is probable she made two trips when she departed, like she did coming back. Only two babies were seen then, but there must have been more in the nest because all five of the grey teenage swans are the same size.
We are so glad they returned. Nothing else in nature is quite as graceful and beautiful as a swan.
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