Thursday, November 06, 2008

Walk with me Thursday ...
(through nature and literature)

My November Guests (thank you for the title, Robert Frost)...
We have a pair of Trumpeter Swans visiting the pond at the township park. They are indeed trumpeters, note the little pink "smile" line on the lower mandible. There are Mute Swans on Phoenix and Wilcox Lakes across town. Mute Swans have an orange bill and are much more common (and quiet).

I hear them arriving in the mornings when brewing my tea.

By the time I arrive for my walk, they are settled in and enjoying their paddle around the pond. They are quite comfortable around humans, in fact the one even seems to mug for the camera. I'm thankful for the great photo's they gave me, but do wish they were a little more timid since they are an endangered species.

Interestingly, swans have inspired a lot of literature over the years. For one that contains knitting and nettles, I'll send you to Hans Christian Andersen's Wild Swans or a shorter overview here.

The weather is due to change with snow in the forecast for Sunday. So it's likely they will spread their wings and move to a milder climate soon.
And then, My November Guest will truly arrive.

The Wild Swans At Coole
by W.B. Yeats 1917

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysteriously beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?


  1. Ohhhhh they're beautiful! And yet, somehow cheeky at the same time. :D

  2. Okay, I have goosebumps all the way to my scalp. How did you already know of that lovely poem - not knowing of it makes me feel at a loss. Thanks for thinking to share it.

  3. The Trumpeter Swans are beautiful!

    So nice to see them!

    (ps..try to warn them about the high wires before they leave...I've seen to many TS hung up in them and don't know why they don't seem able to avoid this fate.)


tie in the loose ends...