Monday, December 03, 2007

These two Whooper swans were out near Myvatn (Iceland), with the wind blowing them nearly sideways in the semi darkness of the midnight sun. I can't say as I've ever seen swans in the wild much before that, and it was wonderful.

Did you know swans mate for life? I didn't get the analogy about the ugly duckling story until I was grown up... because I suppose I never thought the fuzzy grey cygnets were ugly either. I guess beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

20 comments:

Tom & Icy said...

They mate for life? That seems like a long time for mating. When do they ever have time for anything else? I mean, love is nice, but you have to stop kissing long enough to eat. Oh well. They had me fixed, so what do I know? -- Icy

jillie said...

Yes, I did know that swans as well as a lot of others in the bird family mated for life. Very interesting huh? And yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Surgery? Ohhh nooo!! I'll make room for you. My nursemaids are very well trained. They best at keeping you warm and a few wet sloppy kisses now and again.

Good luck!

xoxo

BTW...what are they going to do? No more knives for you missy!

tsduff said...

LOL Icy! Swans aren't much on kissing, just hissing.

Jillie - corvids (crows, ravens, jays, magpies...) are also life long partners.

Your nursemaids sound very loving - good bedside manner and all that stuff :) Looks like the surgeon will try to repair the nerve, and failing that, at least fix it so the nerve endings stop sending shooting pains jolting through my finger. Better to be numb than jumping around with funnybone pain feelings! My sweetie buried all the knives in the back yard. I cut with rubber now.

SOe said...

Better late than never: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! The best wishes from the island in the North Atlantic.

ariel said...

I've never seen swans at midnight before. :-)

Kelly said...

HONK HONK! I know those are swans, but they remind me of geese and I can just picture them running and honking (and hissing). :D

tsduff said...

SOe - Your greetings from that cold, wondrous and beautiful place have made my day :) Enjoy the view for me.


Ariel - until that night - neither had I :) Midnight under the Icelandic sun is a magical experience in and of itself. The swans were just Rúsínan í pylsuendanum - literally, the raisen at the end of the wiener (like a hotdog wiener). It means the cherry on top of the sundae, which is FAR more delectable than raisins in sausages. But who am I to critique the nation’s palate?

Kelly - I can also imagine them running - necks outstretched along the ground, toward your poor vulnerable leg... I presume their bite would be worse than goosie's, and when they get their wing action going... look out! They are capable of breaking a person's arm with one blow of their wing. Better to just look from afar.

~gkw said...

Geese mate for life as well.... The midnight sun... that must be cool. I've always thought they were cute... I think all babies are cute no matter what race or species....

RED MOJO said...

When I was twelve, I was feeding the ducks, and swans, when one of the swans charged me, I backed away but it kept coming. I threw the whole half-a-loaf of bread at it, but it didn't care. I turned to run, but slipped and fell, like some chick in high heels in a horror movie. I was laying there covering my head and sreaming, when I looked up, my stepdad had chased it away. Boy did I feel like a pussy. Scared of a swan. Shhhhh, don't tell anyone.

tsduff said...

~gkw - have to clarify that..."wild" geese mate for life - unfortunately the tame variety (you know, the ones that people DUMP at local parks ponds, and lakes... the stout white Amden, the gray Greglags and Tolouse varieties, etc... just go at it like rabbits (rabbit rabbit) I'm embarassed for them. Guess there is a red light district in every population.... LOL Yes, the babies are cute across the board - so that Moms & Dads don't give UP!

Red - You just hit my funny bone meter (in a great way)

tsduff said...

Red - Nothing wrong with a healthy fear of swans... call it self preservation LOLOL!!!! Having had domestic geese all my life, AND WITNESSING THEIR MINDLESS VIOLENCE on innocent bystanders... I can only surmise that a swan attack would be the very worst that cound happen! Ha ha ha ha - I could picture everything you said... and I have to say, better you than me!!!

javajazz said...

hey, its awfully quiet around here...
just checkin in....
sending xoxo's
as i head out into a frozen wasteland
to pick up my princess ballerina...
frozen!!!
thinking of you ma'am!!
xo

Anonymous said...

Drugs tomorrow TSDuff and best of luck! Just keep that vision of Red Mojo and the swan in your head and you'll be right! Swans of all ages are beautiful :)

Diesel said...

Sure, they mate for life, but I hear that they only live for like 20 minutes.

SoCal Sal said...

Are they good eating?

G said...

Finally, a nature fact you've shared that I'm familiar with! Are you getting surgery today? Just stopping by to wish you well and a speedy recovery!

tsduff said...

Lisa - hallooo up there in frozen land. I hear you all need to put on your long underwear these days.... stay warm okay? I'll talk to you a little after they remove the tourniquet.

Anonymous - hoping they have good drugs on hand - on hand, get it? haha I crack myself up. Yes, will keep visions of swans, birds beauty in mind... I'm scared.

Diesel- It's their SWAN SONG that's 20 minutes... LOL

SoCal Sal - "sic em swanee..."

G - thanks sis - am going in an hour...will you just hold my hand for a minute? (Til the drugs kick in...:)

Kelly said...

Oh, I can picture that horrible swan attack too, Red! We grew up with geese and I was terrified of their hissing and their bruising beaks, etc. My fear hasn't left even though I'm bigger now. I do think however that there is something worse, or at least as bad as a swan attack. When Isaac (my eldest) was little, probably around 5 or so, we went to visit friends on their farm of sorts. My husband was supposed to warn Isaac about the turkey (not to run from him), but he thought it would make him afraid and so said nothing. When we arrived, there is this gorgeous tom turkey out in the yard and Isaac walks closer to see him. As he's staring at the turkey, the tom begins walking towards him and his red waddle begins turning blue. Isaac takes a step backwards, the tom comes closer. Pretty soon, the tom is all shades of blue and begins running at Isaac who screams and high tails it as fast as he can with Tom in mad pursuit. The farm friend turns to my husband shaking his head and says: "You never told him about the turkey did you." I'm sure I would have run too!!!
Terry, thinking of you and wishing you a quick recovery with nerves intact!!!!

G said...

I hope you felt me holding your hand all along, sis. xox

tsduff said...

G- I did. thanks.