Category Archives: The Swans

Through The Garage Door….Almost

One day last week, I was puttering around in our garage, and the side door was open.  I looked up to see “Antoine, The Swan”, standing just outside.

I recorded this little video of his visit. A couple of notes before you view it:  1) The galvanized garbage can to the left of the door is where we store the corn we feed to the ducks and swan. 2) I apologize for the humming noise in the background. Our air conditioner units are located in the garage. And 3) Watch toward the end of the video as he turns to his left and gets his big ol’ feet tangled up.

I was curious about the snorting sound he makes, so I did some research and found this:  “Although they don’t have a “call”,  they have a remarkable assortment of sounds to convey a broad range of emotions, from a gentle ‘bleat’ through a range of puppy-like barking notes, and a head-to-tail long snort sometimes combined with head-raising and feathers fluffed, to register delight.”.

Isn’t that cool?  Antoine The Swan is delighted with me.

Some other facts about mute swans *:

Swans are highly intelligent and remember who has been kind to them, or not.
Mute swans have sharp vision and hearing.
A mute swan’s neck has 23 vertebrae, more than any other bird.
A swan has some 25,000 feathers.
A swan in a protected environment might live as long as 30 years.

Hmm… I guess we’ll be keeping that garbage can stocked with corn for many years to come….

* Info found on Stanley Park Swans web-site.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

It’s been another busy week here at the “wildlife refuge”.

1.) While my niece, Donna, was visiting last week, she, Marshall and I were standing out in front of our garage, talking one morning.  We heard a sound, seeming to come from inside the garage. We discovered that “New Swan” was tapping on the side door with his beak. Motor Man has teased me for a long time, saying that he expects the swan to ring the door bell. Guess that will be next.

swan 7-21-2015 8-25-29 PM

2.) It’s been hot here recently.  Really hot.  So hot that bunnies have resorted to digging little cool-off spots in the dirt. Love his little stretched-out hind legs.

bunny1 8-3-2015 6-39-12 PM 8-3-2015 6-39-12 PM

3.) We rarely see this many waterfowl gathered at one time.  This was during evening’s golden hour earlier this week.

waterfowl 8-3-2015 7-13-29 PM

4.) When I shared this next photo on my Facebook page, my caption was: “Liriope: it’s what’s for dinner”.

deer and liriope 8-5-2015 6-17-57 PM

(But, yes,  he’s adorable….) And a friend commented that, because of his “careful” pruning, the liriope will come back even thicker next year.

deer through trees 8-5-2015 6-18-40 PM

5.) Bluebirds may possibly be my favorite of all birds. They’re so quick, it’s rare for me to get a picture of one. I’m happy this one posed for a minute.

bluebird 7-30-2015 4-03-39 PM

Bonus: “wild child”.  Well, she had just attacked the table leg, so she qualifies.

sundae and table leg 7-30-2015 7-47-30 AM

Anything wild in your neck of the woods?

~These Days Of Mine~

Last Evening’s Company

Motor Man and I went to a customer’s race shop yesterday afternoon, so we had dinner while we were out.

Since we’ve been having typical southeast Virginia summertime weather recently (hot, humid and only spotty rain in selected areas), I needed to water a few plants when we got home.  I was so engrossed in deadheading and pruning a bedraggled hanging petunia, that I didn’t notice I had company until I heard an odd “smacking” sound.

swan 7-21-2015 8-25-29 PM

“My” swan had come to visit, and I suppose the smacking sound was his way of letting me know that he was there and ready for dinner.

I glanced toward the western sky at the sunset…

sunset 7-21-2015 8-23-30 PM

…and saw that I had even more company. This mom actually has twins, but they wouldn’t cooperate to be in the same picture.

mom babe 7-21-2015 8-24-28 PM

We just never know who will come to visit around here…

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

This week’s random thoughts:

1.) Recently I’ve been upset that so many of my plants have been severely damaged by deer. Allow me to introduce the next generation of plant destroyers.

2.) The deer may have damaged a fair amount of my glads, but because of our plentiful rainfall this summer, I’ve had an abundance of blooms. I’ve managed to salvage some for our enjoyment too.

glads bathroom 7-15-2015 2-06-15 PM

3.) I’m pleased to share some HAPPY news: William/Guillermo, the Corolla foal that was sick and had to be removed from the herd, has been released from the NC State vet school hospital, and is now at the Corolla rescue facility. They’re planning an open house in October, and we’re planning to be there. He’ll be adopted by a veterinarian who’s on the board of directors at Corolla Wild Horse Fund. That’s his surrogate mom, Pebbles, in the video with him.

4.) We arrived home yesterday after dinner and errands just in time to catch the sunset with a friend.

swan in grass 7-16-2015 8-05-47 PM

 5.)  Here’s a teaser for you.  Can you spot Marshall’s gray kitty, Chessie, in this photo?  She’s in there, and I’ll provide her exact location in Monday’s post.

hidden chessie

Enjoy the weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

Ending a hot, humid week here in southeast Virginia with five randoms:

1.) I glanced out our bedroom window one morning earlier this week and saw this bee on a lacecap hydrangea bloom.  Morning’s golden hour, once again, provided the perfect lighting.

bee on hydrangea 6-12-2015 8-17-09 AM

2.) Mistake?  Or marketing ploy? (Hoping customers will come in to tell you the word is spelling incorrectly, and in turn, make a purchase..??)

sirlion 6-14-2015 11-18-37 AM

3.) Humid, yes, indeed – even at sunrise.

sunrise 6-14 6-14-2015 6-36-03 AM

4.) Still no Bride Swan, so “New Swan” is filling in at being beautiful.

new swan

5.) And, finally, a couple of photos from Marshall’s birthday celebration (apologies to my FB friends for the rerun).

us 3 6-16-2015 9-46-30 AM

Motor Man and Marshall teamed up at the restaurant gift shop, and managed to buy and sneak this oar out to the vehicle without me knowing it.

db marsh oar1  6-16-2015 10-53-036 6-16-2015 10-53-35 AM

Any surprises in your life this week?

~These Days Of Mine~

Five Photos, Five Stories – Day 2

While scrolling through the pictures on our computer, looking for ideas for this challenge, I happened upon this one from just about a year ago:

swans2 5-20-2014 7-49-48 PM

It ‘s probably been six or eight months since I’ve seen either of the swans. I’m hoping that they’re just “hanging out” uptown upriver.  I keep watching for them, hoping that, as in the past, they’ll just be here one day, waiting for their bread.

The swans have been visiting for several years. They’ve been “guests” at family reunions and two weddings that have taken place here.

I’m  hoping they return soon; our summer yard isn’t the same without them.

The rules of Five Photos; Five Stories are to post a photo a day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo.  It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph.  Oh yes, and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.  Today, I’m tagging Adrienne at My Memory Art.

~These Days Of Mine~

Unrest In The Swan World

As I mentioned last week, the “juvenile” swan is becoming a regular visitor. And, I think I can safely say that it is a male. And that, although we didn’t know for sure when we named the black swan “Groom”, we apparently were right on the money with that one.

As far as we can tell by looking out the window, all three swans get along fairly well as long as food isn’t involved. As soon as I go out with bread, however, young swan’s welcome is quickly cut short.

This was last week, when Groom was attempting to shoo away the newcomer.

swan fight 12-29-2014 3-25-11 PM

Sunday morning: and although this is not a good picture, you get the idea.

groom chasing swan 1-4-2015 7-36-28 AM

The one who didn’t get the idea, however, was the young swan. Again and again, Groom would chase him to the far end of our yard, and when Groom turned around to come back my way, the “young’un” was right behind him.

 young following groom 1-4-2015 7-40-14 AM

I do wish they could make peace. I keep telling them that we have plenty of bread for everyone.

young swan1 1-4-2015 7-42-27 AM

Meanwhile, Bride Swan muttered: “Men!”…..

bride 1-4-2015 7-39-33 AM

….and, while they unsuccessfully attempted to settle their differences, she helped herself to all the bread!

~These Days Of Mine~