“…In a noisy world like ours, the best gift to have is a quiet mind. In a dangerous world like this one, the best gift to own is a calm soul. In a life like we are placed in, the best gift to receive is a serene outlook. May we have all three of these gifts…”
There is absolutely no point to this post, other than to say I love black swans. Most days I go walking at a big lake on the way home from work, and I love watching these guys as they paddle about on the water. They are majestic and comical all at the same time. At this time of year, when they are not consumed by the breeding urge, they are friendly and inquisitive, quite happy to waddle up to you and graze nearby or check out what you may have for them. Sadly, I don’t bring them food because I know it’s not good to do so (especially bread) and so I am a bit of a disappointment. Still, they seem to know me now and will hang out for a while if I sit on one of the benches or on the bank.
I love their little honks and whistles, their head-bobs-in-greeting and their lovely big feet. I love their upside-down feeding when their in bums are the air and their heads are underwater, feet paddling like crazy. I love their ballet stretches and their sleepy eyelids when they are dozing off. The way the water beads on their blue-black plumage, and those bright red beaks. Just beautiful.
“…Our bird plays a starring role in all this owing to a belief in Europe, dating back 2000 years to Roman poet Juvenal, that swans are invariably white. Like purple cows and flying pigs, the black swan was a symbol of what was impossible. In medieval Europe, unicorns had more credibility. Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh, by finding black swans in Western Australia in 1697, showed how risky it is to declare something impossible…”
I’m glad they ARE possible, and that I get to share their space with them. Come breeding season they are less inclined to be so welcoming but, even then, they are accommodating and patient, allowing a certain amount of intrusion into their little family groups. Cygnets are the most adorable things on the planet. Grey balls of fluff – it’s hard to imagine they will grow up to be something so tall and glorious. Don’t get too close though – you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a Mummy Swan’s wrath 🙂