“We make the road by walking”…I tried to find the originator of this saying and found references to a Spanish poet by the name of Antonio Machado. I believe whoever said it was right. It also goes well with Lao Tzu’s message that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. So let’s go. Let’s go forward.
Our family is fortunate to share a large pond with our neighbours which is home to herons, ducks, geese, turtles, fish and frogs, beavers and even an otter I think.
A few days back our son had been out walking the dog and mentioned that he thought we had a couple snow geese on the pond. I didn’t cross my mind again until today when my better half and I decide to get out and enjoy the sun with a walk to the pond to check out the state of the bridge. I always step onto the bridge with a little trepidation in the Spring because the ice has a way of pushing, pulling and shifting things over the winter. Although the men of the family had done repairs last weekend I was still a little skeptical as I stepped onto it this afternoon. However, I quickly forgot my concerns when I looked out onto the pond and spotted two large white birds.
We quickly made our way back to the house to collect camera and binoculars and set back out to get a closer look.
As it turned out the birds were in fact two Trumpeter Swans – not snow geese at all. In the 15 years we’ve had our property this was a first! The long-necked graceful birds are stunning though I must report they are kept in check from being unworldly beautiful by their loud and less than elegant “trumpeting”.
As we stood looking on we were granted a late afternoon show of herons soaring and swooping, and Trumpeter Swans craning and paddling about along side a pair of Canada Geese. It was a fresh new wonder offered up freely by Mother Nature which we gratefully accepted. (I’ve always thought of Canada Geese as sizable birds but the two swans dwarfed them!)
Our fingers are now crossed that the swans will decide its a nice enough neigbourhood in which to raise their little ones.
This evening, after some investigation, we learned that the presence of Trumpeter Swans on our pond is extra special. Although the swans are native to Ontario, they had almost completely disappeared due to over hunting. Efforts to re-introduce the swans in Ontario began in 1980s and have been successful at re-establishing the population.