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Swan Lake and the Dangers Therein

“When turkeys mate, they think of swans.”  Johnny Carson

 A few misadventures looking in the rain for the one place that would sell the rarer type of pumpkins I needed, brought us to a wooded street with houses, if any, hidden deep beyond our view.  Between the rain with its dark full clouds and the lush far-reaching branches and tendrils, the street seemed about to be reclaimed by nature.  Hidden in the tangle of my directionally-challenged mind (I do not have a GPS) was the fear that we were really lost this time.

And then it didn’t matter.  A small pond on one side of the road played host to two of the most gorgeous (their color white and dense like fresh, snow ball-making snow) and close-at-hand swans.  It took some fast digging in the toxic heap of my  pocketbook while simultaneously pulling to the side of the road to unearth my camera-companion.  My step daughter had found hers minutes earlier.

We would have sprung from the car, but we were afraid to scare the birds, so we emerged slowly and so quietly, so carefully, only to be accosted by the cacophony of a bunch of busy-bodied, pompadoured ducks hidden in the reeds on the other side of the road.  Their apparently freshly coifed hair (think Snooki in platinum) bobbed on their heads as they waddled and contemplated whether we were friend or foe, or whether we might be bearing gifts of food, or simply a distraction.  We were a distraction.  They were comic relief. And though white as snow etc., too, they were undignified enough to be unworthy of the glowing descriptions we attributed to the swans.

We crossed the street to the pond looking for the perfect serene shot.  The swans did not oblige.  They swam in closer to us making it near impossible to capture the reds and oranges of the fall foliage that bordered the pond.   The foliage and the fowl shot was not meant to be, but the proximity to the graceful swans was exciting in its potential for a stunning photograph. 

 “Oh, look; they’re getting closer; quick take a shot”

“Oh, look, they’re getting out of the pond”

“Oh, look how big their feet are.”

“Oh, look, how funny that their waddle is not unlike the ducks but with a feather boa neck.”

“Oh, lookout! It’s trying to bite Leisa.”

“Oh, look, it’s coming closer to me, what a great shot.”

“Oh, look it’s so close I could pat its head.”

“Oh lookout!  It’s trying to bite me now.”

“Oh, lookout!  It’s chasing me down the street.”

“Oh, look, those swans have a pretty miserable squawk, slimy water plants dangling from their mouths, their necks are very snake-like, and their feathers pick up pond scum, too.”

Like other beautiful creatures, these swans (and from what I hear most swans) developed a disdain for the paparazzi…

…but those ducks on the other hand, seem kind of cute, they really are a rich white color and have a good sense of humor.”


© 2011 by Alison Colby Campbell

5 thoughts on “Swan Lake and the Dangers Therein”

  1. The header pic of the swan was at Stevens Pond, North Andover on a sunny day; all the rest were on the mysterious and probably never to be refound street with a pond on both sides in a town somewhat near Newburyport (we were on our way to Tendercrop Farm – which did in fact have the pumpkins I wanted. It was the 6th farmstand we tried.)


  2. One of these lovelies just may be from the old Incredible lightness of swan guano photo on my FB page. They became a bit aggressive with me today, but did give that super swan-love pose, so they are forgiven. Nice blog! Great Emcee-ing at the soiree du moby dick, too. 🙂


    1. Actually I think your swan pic is most gorgeous – but we had the drama, that tends to surround me and be worth a mention in my blog. Soiree – was kind of wacky – but you looked gorgeous as Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s . The head of the debonair Dorian rotted off today.


  3. Great blog! Leisa looks totally unruffled~ Just finished watching Black Swan – fourth installment. Those things can be nasty!


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