Visiting swans

We saw some swans in a pond behind an old grist mill on the way to the movies yesterday.  I said we would stop on the way back if they were still there.  They were and we did!  We got out of the car and walk down the short path to the water and the swans paddles right over to us probably looking to be fed.  We watch and admired the water birds for a while including their more timid friends the mallard ducks until my daughter remembered we had PB&J leftover crusts in the car!  We went and got those and that was when the duck really came to the party!  My son had a hard time understanding the concept of break it up in small pieces to make it last longer so his piece was gone in two throws.  Back in the car with the kids, the swans were great conversation.  My nephew told a story about how a piece of bread landed on a swan’s back and he reached his snake-like neck back to retrieve it only to push it further off his back entirely and then reach EVEN further with his neck into the water!  I like zoos but animals in nature are even better!

Do you live near any friendly or not so friendly wildlife?  Please share!

Further swan reading…

This is an old Irish folk tale from which the Swan Princess evolved from.

Hans Christian Anderson’s Ugly Ducking with illustrations by award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney (thanks Red Dirt Kelly).

A Newbery Award winner, The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars is about a 14 year old girl who’s inward focus is forced out over a crisis involving her mentally disabled brother who disappears looking for swans.  Thank you Pragmatic Mom for the recommendation!


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  1. Oh how pretty! We have lots of Canada Geese (in the summer), ducks, and raccoons, and occasionally deer. And sometimes if we go to the right places we see bears crossing the road. 😀
    Lovely photos Ann!

    • Aaa!!! The bear is a little scary! I used to see deer where I used to live near Boston – one time a whole family crossing the road and a few cars stopped for them!!! These sighting make me happy!

  2. I must miss China. When we drove by a building with a mural, it had the legendary “ugly duckling” painted on the side…probably 20 feet tall. When I saw your swans, I thought of the promise of beauty and life that the ugly duckling experienced when he became a swan.

    • Why didn’t I add that to my further reading?!!! Thanks for the idea – GREAT story!!! Did you use to live in China?

  3. We have desert wildlife out here. This summer, a small bobcat found its way into my mom’s garage! Unheard of! We feed scrub jays, quail, and cactus wren in the yards every day. This post reminds me of Kensington Gardens where my parents used to take us when I was a child. We’d walk the park paths and feed the wildlife.

    • Bobcat in the garage – scary! Quail are cool – I’d love to see those! Kensington Gardens as in Kensington Palace? I’ve been there – it is amazing! Are you from England?

    • Thanks! We see turkeys too – they are kind of funny! 21! I wonder if they destroyed your yard! They are pretty awkward in flight – just saw once.

  4. Oh how gorgeous they all are! What a nice stop for the kids and I LOVE how you tie in books!

    There is also a Betsy Byars swan chapter book: The Summer of the Swans. I vaguely remembering reading it as a child and liking it but the plot line completely escapes me and I’m not sure if it translates to kids now. But probably would be fine! Newbery winner!

  5. I love these shots…how lucky you were! I would’ve loved that. I see turtles here when I do this one walk near the ocean (not always but once in awhile), I’ll sometimes see a good full view of one when a wave goes up and the turtle is below the crest, otherwise, we’ll see their heads bob up. Seeing a humpback breach is incredible and I’ve only seen it a few times. There are a ton of whale watches here during Nov to Mar but I honestly don’t like all that activity in the water focused on the poor whales so I stick to my watching from shore even though it may not be as awe inspiring.

    • I know what you mean about the whales. Honestly I wasn’t really comfortable feeding the birds – not sure you are supposed to! I don’t think we will make a habit out of it. Thanks for sharing, Tania, I love turtles!

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