It was nearly eight degrees, that sunny afternoon in upstate New York. Though we were well-mittened, wrapped in wraps and protected from head to toe, there was no denying that it was COLD!
We carefully traversed the picturesque bridge and were taking in the wonderful expanse of woodland whiteness that lay before us, when loud quacking on the not-too-distant horizon, captured our attention. On the icy covered pond about fifty feet away, was a flock of ducks, geese, and a couple of lovely, white swans. I realized at that moment that these little guys were dealing with the weather, much the same way we were. Most dramatically though, the pair of swans was walking away from the flock, web-footed and traction-less, across the icy expanse, towards the bridge on which we stood. It was as if they were having the same conversation we had just had a few moments earlier:
“Be careful, honey, it’s very icy!”
“I know, I know!”
“No, really, we’re not as young as we used to be. One mis-step or slip and …”
“I know, I know. Just hold my hand and indulge me, as I stop to snap a few pictures.”
“Ok! I’m freezing, but you have to take your pictures. It’s a good thing I love you!”
The swans were, apparently, on a mission, but in no particular hurry;, staying close to each other, either side by side, or walking just behind. They progressed methodically, slipping and sliding and occasionally flopping down unceremoniously, on their bellies.
We held hands, stopping only to allow me to remove my mittens, raise my camera, and snap away. Then, bundled up again, hand-in-hand, mitten-in-glove, we continued on. My spouse of 47 years, led the way across the bridge, snowy paths and the icy patches, ensuring that together we were sure-footed. Every few minutes we stopped to soak in the beauty of our surroundings, but steadfast in our intention to reach the llama pens and barn on the outskirts of the property.
I enjoyed the walk in the woods and in particular by this scene. I recall it often, even a week after having seen it. I’m glad that I snapped these photos, so that I can look back and remember the cold, the clear, crisp air, the exhilaration, the inspiration and the quiet that I experienced that afternoon, watching the lovely swans. Enjoy this mini-gallery
(Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks).