Thursday, October 1, 2009

With the Swans

Seney National Wildlife Refuge
Trumpeter Swans


I crouched low at the edge of the shallow water amid a great herd—these largest of the swans, preening and resting in the strong sun of a September afternoon, my arms wrapped around bent knees, barely breathing, holding myself small and still, eye-to-eye with a magnificent white bird.

dipping for dinner


His tannin-stained neck and head lifted from its nap beneath a broad, white wing to see this stranger among them. And, I, sure that they would take to the open water and leave me watching from the shore, waited for wing beats.





The soft, black, unfeathered skin of his face met a small, dark eye which watched me carefully from above the edge of his smooth, black bill—so perfect for one so white in his bright, reflective world where there is little but water and sky. It seemed I could have touched him, so close he stood with the others, though his long neck was the thickness of my arm, and I was sure the weight behind it would deliver a stern rebuke, should I try.
Glass beads skittered across the plaited feathers of his back.
And he resumed his one-legged nap.




From across the water, wing beats came now—as more of the great birds, their 6-foot wingspans effortlessly setting them down upon the water at my feet, arrived to join the others.
Then all stood looking out over the broad blue blanket.
Only with great reluctance, did I leave them and move on.

With the Swans



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26 comments:

Texas Travelers said...

Greast series of photos of the swans. well done.

troy and martha

Marju said...

Really wonderful pictures of the swan!

Vita Stunder said...

Gorgeous series!!
Have a great weekend :)

Anna

T.R. said...

Beautiful narrative Nina! I always forget Thursday is Friday in Skywatch land. But I remembered today! Miss you!

Janie said...

Beautiful birds. You got some fantastic photos of them. I especially like the one of them in flight.

Deborah Godin said...

What better sky is there than one the showers down swans!

fourwindsphotojournal said...

Very nice series.

Photo Cache said...

awesome post.

Laure Ferlita said...

What simple majestic beauty in that black face.

Thanks for sharing.

bobbie said...

Wonderful pictures! Is there a more beautiful bird?

eileeninmd said...

Great series of swan photos and I like the first sky photo too.

Island Rambles Blog said...

love your view of the sky and that is a wonderful sequence on the swans, creative idea ...cheers and happy sky watching, I am trying to return to blogging and it is nice to see your blog again Nina.

Vegetable Gardener said...

This is a great post.. Very informative... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your every post that's why I think I'd come here more often. Keep it up! By the way, you can also drop by my blogs. They're about Vegetable Gardening and Composting. I'm sure you'd find my blogs helpful too.

Nature Lovin' Super Mama said...

Beautiful Photography and Great Sky Watch Photo and Post! Thanks for sharing your moment with the beautiful swans with the rest of us! Happy Friday!

Regina said...

Such an amazing captures!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Seeing those feathers so close, doesn't it make you want to just run your fingers throught those big white feathers. They look so cozy and soft.

Pearl Maple said...

Great collection of photos for Sky Watch Friday, how nice of the swans to cooperate and sit still for photos.

Viola said...

Beautiful blue water to the blu sky on the first photo! Amazing photos of the lovely swans! They are so beautiful :)

Michelle said...

Very beautiful!

Carolyn Ford said...

Such elegance! Beautiful captures....

Mary said...

We have an area not far from here where Trumpeters winter. They are amazing creatures and so fun to watch. You got some great shots.

Blessings,
Mary

NovaS said...

The combination is fabulous...great photo...loved it..thanks for sharing...

magiceye said...

bravo!
excellent captures!

Mary said...

Yes, don't breathe - don't let on you are nervous - as it might scare them ;-) I know, Nina!

Awesome!

Alice said...

Wonderful pictures!

Kelly said...

...ever since reading E.B. White's "The Trumpet of the Swan" when I was a kid, I've been in love with these birds! Beautiful....