Victoria on Swans: There are Three, or Were

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dock-5-2-09The river is clear!

If you are not a nature enjoyer you are not going to have much fun this spring and summer reading my posts here. 

After growing up on the West Coast on some land that allowed us to have animals and wild life around us I am set for life to always be aware of the weather and any animal life I come across.

Winter in the villages usually allows you to see more creatures than anyone would ever imagine BUT once the water opens up and weather warms, BONANZA!! 

We always have a pair of binoculars near the windows downstairs and lately I should have a small pair around my neck all the time. 

river-progress-swans-signs-of-green-may-1-and-2-0021

Looking down river – May 2. Almost like glass. 

We have had two gorgeous days of clear skies, pristine mountain and rivers views that have brought all sorts of animal action. 

The other night, about 10:30 PM and still an hour away from sunset, when the gusty winds slowed down some I glanced down river as there was all sorts of noise coming from that direction.

In the bend in the river where the channel runs there must have been hundreds of seagulls floating and chattering in a group. We must have spring smelt, hooligan or some other small fish we are not even aware of coming up or down river.

It was a feeding fest like I had not heard in some time. Dipping heads, bodies plunging, and quick flights up and down. Whatever they had there was obviously feeding some hungry tummies. 

About that time a pair of Sandhill Cranes flew right in front of the dogs and I so low  that the girls looked at me like I would send them to ‘fetch them up’. (Mind you our girls are so soft mouth and not into killing things that we routinely get live, unharmed bunnies dropped at our feet) 

The swans were throwing up all sorts of noise too. Swooping and having a good time.

I decided that despite PJs on I was going to throw a pair of sweats on and head to the lake to watch.  

Dogs were sworn on best behavior as I do not want to scare the swans away, reading that they usually choose places away from disturbances, we head over. 

Finding a place to sit on a little hill on the edge of the lake, not knowing it was there as most of the area we frequent is marshy, the girls and I sat and watched. 

Try as I might the pictures I took did not come out as well as I like, sun and wind buffed me a little too much.

We discovered there were three swans there. Now I am mad I did not bring our binoculars so I could look for signs of gray feathers on the neck and back of the one to see if it is a younger one. (Having done my reading up on them and learning this is one way to know if they are 1-3 years old) 

 

river-progress-swans-signs-of-green-may-1-and-2-015

The pair and of course our mountains and active volcano  20 miles away!!

Definitely a pair and then a third one they allow to be there. Now I am intrigued.

river-progress-swans-signs-of-green-may-1-and-2-014The loner

Is this normal?

Is this one that lost a mate and is just hanging out or just one that stopped by for a visit? Lots more reading and watching to be done!

Lots of watching from the kitchen window and yard as I get to garden over the next few days.

Last night, again about an hour before sunset, the swans are playing again.

our-side-of-the-lake2This time on ‘our’ side of the lake!!

OH SO TEMPTING to head over without the dogs and see if I can catch some close up pictures.

Remembering the “not liking disturbances” part of my reading I thought I better leave well enough along. 

This morning, no swans in the tundra or on the lake. 

Watching all day!

Finally this afternoon as the sun in passed overhead I heard them calling and looked up to see them feeding on the lake. 

Grabbed camera, binoculars, dog float toy and off we go. Making the dogs be soooo quiet as we hike over. Hard when you have a couple of Retrievers that LIVE for fetch games and swimming. 

I arrive to see them look at us, ignore us as we are far enough away and return to talking and feeding.

Dogs and I get a couple dozen throw and retrieves. The whole time I am looking for the third bird.

Nothing. 

Got a few distance pictures, vowing there WILL be a photography class somehow this winter and a better camera and tri – pod if at all possible.

We sat, enjoyed their calling, feeding and just peaceful view for a bit. 

I can see that this is going to be tough not to do even with bears and fishing everyday. 

This is what life should be able to offer us all, a little window into the joys of this earth!!

~ Victoria

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3 Responses to “Victoria on Swans: There are Three, or Were”

  1. alaskapi Says:

    Your “trees” have that purply look that means leaf buds must be near at hand…
    In my part of Alaska we all talk and sing as we walk to let the bears know we are around so we don’t startle them…
    If your swan neighbors stick around , do you think there’s a song they will tolerate to let you near…? :-)

  2. UgaVic Says:

    I usually feel pretty good this time of the year as the four legged buddies are not out much. Then my understanding is they head for the flats for lots of grass eating to get “unplugged”.

    I did just hear today that one was spotted on the flats, between us and PIP, checking out some caribou.

    My bear patrol goes with me also. One gets her hackles up and the other has been known to charge a mama. Not sure if she knew what all she was in for if the mama took her on, but she did it!

    We will now have to be signing on our trips!!

  3. alaskapi Says:

    We have black and brown bears…
    You have mostly browns?
    Or as folks Outside know them, grizzlies?

    My ma told me that when she was a child the group, of kids and women, who were harvesting berries , always assigned someone to be a bear-watcher-only . She thought herself quite grownup when she was old enough to be the warning voice for the group of bear in-coming.

    Here’s hoping your swan neighbors stick around for up close photos and the bears are busy elsewhere!

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