Saturday, July 21, 2012

What I Missed

This is what happened one day in my backyard while I was at the lake,

On the left side of these picture there is a pond with an island. This backyard area provides great wildlife viewing often more than what I see at the lake. It is no wonder that Bella looks longingly out the window hoping for a chance to escape and explore on her own.
In the second photo towards the tree trunk are 3 babies who are being fiercely protected by mom and dad.
Trumpeter  Swans are the heaviest birds native to North America and on the average largest waterfowl. Its wingspan ranges from 73-98 inches. An average male weighs 26 lbs. and an average female 21 lbs. Adults are all white in plumage. They often bred in large shallow waters and ponds. Their diet consists almost entirely on aquatic plants. In the winter they may also eat grasses and grains. The female on average lays 3-12 eggs.
Some cool facts:

  • Trumpeter Swans were once hunted for its feathers throughout the 1600's causing them to decline in numbers. Its largest flight feathers made the best quality quill pens.
  • Some Trumpeter Swans can live more than 24 years.
  • Trumpeter Swans form pair bonds when they are 3-4 years old. The pairs stay together throughout the year, moving in migratory populations. These swans are assumed to mate for life.

Lucky for me, I have such wonderful neighbors who were able to document this backyard event and send pictures my way. 
E.B. White, children's author of Charlotte's Web, wrote a very heartwarming story called 
The Trumpet Swan.  Not only do children enjoy the story but adults as well.

In the book Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love? You need to pick up the book to find the answer:)

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