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Swan Patrol

On Sunday, the weather was warmer, the wind wasn't AS blustery, and Julia wanted to go fishing, since Alex got to go on Saturday.  So we all piled into the truck and headed to Lincoln Woods

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I don't currently have a freshwater fishing license OR a trout stamp, so I just helped but didn't reel anything in.  And I took pictures.

But before the fishing really began, there was this.  Bill picked out an area on the beach for us to set up the poles and a few chairs, and I noticed, out on the water, a single swan.

And the swan was swimming toward us.

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Quickly.

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Very intently.

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I think maybe it thought we had food.

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He, she, came right up to the shore, staring at us the whole time.

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Julia marched toward the swan, but she was moving quickly and so was the swan, so I dragged her behind me.

And then the swan hissed.  You can see its beak is open in the picture below.

That's the hissing.

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If the swan wanted food, it was being a bit rude about it. 

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So we stood like this for a moment – just looking at each other.  Sizing each other up.

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Julia desperately wanted to go closer, but I didn't think that was a good idea.

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And then the swan seemed to decide that we were no threat, and that since we didn't have any food, then there was really no point in lingering.
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It had a sip of water.  "That's what I was really here for.  Just the water.  Not you people.  Sheesh!"

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And then it looked at me again.

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And turned,

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And paddled away.

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Slowly, casually.  No great hurry.

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It stopped again to sip some more water…

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And then…further out on the pond…something got the swan's attention.

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It was a pair of Canada geese.  Who knows what they were up to.  The swan paddled faster (you can see the slight ripple of wake behind it), and the geese just sat there. 

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Maybe they were just, you know, paddling around, enjoying the weather.  Perfectly innocently.  But…maybe not.  And that swan?  That swan had to find out.

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Whatever it was, whatever those geese were doing, the swan didn't like it.  And the swan proceeded to chase the geese (or at least one of them) across the water. 

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First this way…

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And then that way…

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While all this was going on, Bill and the kids were fishing, or playing frisbee.  And, yes, fish were caught.  But that will be discussed and relived in another post.  This post is about the swan. 

After herding the geese for a while, the swan paddled to shore off to the left of us where there were several other people fishing.  The swan walked around on the sand at first, maybe hoping for a snack.  I couldn't tell if the people had food for the swan or not, but it didn't seem to be hissing at them, so maybe they did.

But then.

One of those pesky Canada geese swam just a leeeeetle bit too close to shore.  I don't understand why it was THAT particular goose the swan had it in for; the other goose was walking around on the sand near the swan, and the swan seemed to have no problem with that.  Who knows.  Maybe the goose said something rude and provoking.  I don't know.  Whatever the reason, the swan marched back down to the water…

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And took off after that goose.
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The swan continued to chase the goose across the water, but after a bit, the chase took on a more leisurely pace.

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Right about now, it seemed like the swan decided the goose had been moved an acceptable distance away, so the swan turned and headed back to shore.

The goose, the foolish goose, followed.

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And the swan didn't like that one little bit.

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I know it's probably mating season, or egg-laying season, so I was wondering during all of this if maybe the swan's spouse is sitting on a nest somewhere in the area, and the swan is just keeping the area safe.  Maybe it realized that we, not being water fowl, were not real threats, and maybe it thought the geese were.

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But whatever the reason, the swan was bound and determined to keep the geese away.

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Far,

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Far away.

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2 thoughts on “Swan Patrol

  1. Back in my home town there was a home outside the city limits that took in exotic animals that had been brought into the States illegally, lions, leopards, tigers, apes of all kinds, zebra… you name it they had it… it was a zoo. Privately owned and not opened to the public, we gained access because my sister had a huge garden and would donate all her unused, over ripe vegetables to them to feed the animals. They had swans. And this was just how they acted when they were claiming their territory and looking for a mate, like you said it is the mating/nesting season. It’s good that ya’ll didn’t get too close. They do latch on to you as if biting and they don’t let go. One of the Hispanic workers at “the zoo” had scars on his arms from the swans, geese and ducks, he’d acquired them when he was cleaning around the water areas. I’d think the bigger the bird the harder the pinch from their beak.

  2. Our swans have come back for the third year in a row..we have a pair of them 🙂 I love when they arrive because the geese quickly depart for other digs. Unfortunately they do not stay for the whole summer, just a couple of weeks.

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