Just about a year ago when Stuart, Jack and I were walking alongside the pond in the University Parks, all of a sudden, calmly swimming toward us along the shore, was a swan with her four cygnets. It was later in the evening and not many people were about, so mama swan must have felt confident showing them around their new world. They stayed very close to her, tucked into her side or hugging the pond's edge. We felt in awe seeing them, but also very humbled--neither Stuart or I had ever seen recently-hatched cygnets so close-up. We quickly put Jack on his lead to keep him away from the water's edge and I tiptoed as close to them as I safely could to take one quick photo before we backed away and watched from the pathway.
world can best be forgotten
in the beauty of nature!
~Mehmet Murat ildan
swan in the pond.
|Jack, wondering when it's his turn.|
walking along the pond one afternoon
while the pair of swans were performing
their swan dance, their mating ritual.
It felt exactly like watching a beautiful
What makes it even more inspiring to
watch is that swans mate for life.
Love consists of this:
two solitudes that meet,
protect and greet each other.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
each taking turns to dip their bills
into the water and then raise it high,
they circled one another, and then
encircled one another with their
swan necks forming a heart.
It was heart-achingly beautiful
and otherworldly, like something
from a fairy tale that turns out
to be real.
Swans mate over a period of 2-3 weeks
and lay their eggs in the nest they've
prepared. Then when the final egg
is laid, the incubation begins which
takes about six weeks.
Day after day she sits in a labour of
love, hatching her cygnets, and
all the while the other swan patrols
|The pond at the University Parks at sunset.|
Look closely at the background to the right,
and you can see the rushes where the nest is.
The blue right behind it is the fencing to keep
people from getting too close and disturbing