Outside my window the snow is gone and it’s been raining. Today feels like a good day to revisit thoughts; reflecting moments that were memorable to me over winter. Now it’s time to say goodbye and embrace spring. Slowly, it’s arriving.
Walking in the woods is one of my favorite things to do. Being in nature is calming and quite peaceful, especially at this time of year. Over winter I also felt that trudging through heavy snow was a workout. I began to look forward to the focus of breath, ice crunching beneath my feet, creaking trees, and the trickle of nearby water.
Typically my route begins only a short distance from home–at the pond. Here ducks frolic about every day all year. Our neighborhood has a duck crossing sign where these feathered locals pretty much rule the roost. But really, my eyes are always in search of the swans. I’ve been following a mated couple for over a year. They are the most amazing waterfowl species, inseparable and beautiful in motion. This large natural habitat is home for many birds, but notably it’s the swans and ducks who take center stage. They stay the winter, tolerating the cold while relying on the non frozen sections to gather and scour for food.
December 2013 was my last sighting of the swans as a family.
After months of teaching their young, now grown, the parents send them on their way. Originally there were seven cygnets, four survived–two males and two females. As they matured, they grew in size, at times making it difficult to tell them apart. But one swan did stand out–the “ugly duckling” male with a slightly broken wing. Snapping turtles are enormous around here and cygnets are especially vulnerable. Luckily he managed fine until it was time for the siblings to go it alone. I suspect he couldn’t fly; still, the dominant male parent persisted in driving him away. The lonely swan took refuge among the ducks until he was taken to a nature preserve. I was very happy to learn of this. Seemed like the right thing to do. I sure hope his rehabilitation went well, the wing is good as new, and he went on to find a mate of his own.
I like happy endings and look forward to new beginnings. Soon nest-building time and new babies.
And so it goes…
Enjoy life wherever it takes you!
’till the next time
All images and text © Robin MacDonald-Foley