Monday, October 12, 2009


It is said that swans were brought to the states in the 1800's to grace estates and parks. Some escaped and formed a wild group which became known as mute swans. MUTE? Why? It is said they only hiss and grunt. They have a droning sound to their wing flap whereas the natives of park swans are silent. Seems to me it should be mu-tated, meaning changed. But then, I am only a wisher-to-photograph them.
A male is called a cob and a female is called a pens and the chicks are cygnets. There is a Polish cob that weighs about 50 pounds, maybe I could get a picture of him trying to raise his rump off the water.

Our hunt for swans began simply enough. We were on our way to the lake in early May and the man-of-all-knowing said, "LOOK, SWANS" And by the time brain engaged, we were well beyond. Of course, he said, "Shall I turn around?" And of course, you remember the conversation about saving 7 minutes on a short cut? Why would we waste 10? BECAUSE. We did turn around but the S necked waterfowl were beyond the cameras lens. Why were their necks orange?

It got to be the game. Once he thought he saw some by a church. He crept the truck up as close to the cemetery as he dared and I got out and walked silently through the graves to the edge where the fence was and moved the bramble aside to stick the lens through. They were pelicans! And I had four stuck wood ticks that night.

When we got to a certain mile marker on MN HWY 34 we would start to look. Where they in the farm pond? Where they in Lake Howe? How about the church yard? Where were they?

Then, in late May, we went to Little Sand to fish. You would like the lake. It has a nice dock, no Canada Goose poop. and a small beach for those who wish to sun bathe and wade.

Swans are skiddish. They are really hard to sneak up on. We weren't close enough to measure the wing span but it is at least 80-90". Tom guessed they weighed about 25 pounds. We caught the pair in flight!

Why the orange necks on the first ones? Stained from the water.

Now, some of you may have had this magnificent creatures on wall paper or shower curtains in your bathrooms as a kid. Did you? Have you ever seen one in the real?


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