Monday, September 7, 2009

Black Swan Walk


Black Swan walking, along the river...

When I injured my ankle
before I knew it was fractured
I was driving home
and noticed
something very unusual

There in the swampy
Mangrove curves
of my river
was a pair of Black Swans
and two cygnets

It was drizzling
and I could only hop
but I stopped the car
clambered down the river bank
and made my way through the muddy
tidal sludge and mangrove roots
and jellyfish
to have a closer look...

but they were so far away
and armed with only my happy snapper
I could not get the shot I wanted
to do justice to the swans
and to show you
So I decided to wait...

and I have not seen
the swans since,
until today
when walking along
the same stretch of river
I spied one black swan
dredging the murky
mangrove flats

Oh Happy Days...

and of course
I now have
my new camera

and then I saw the mate
Cygnus atratus,

the tide was extremely low
so I edged out on the sandy mud
amongst the mangrove roots

and watched the pair
dredge - for zostera weed
in the salty brackish water

a synchronised

of grace

and charm

way across the tidal stretch
a colony of ibis feed
and in the centre
a lone heron stands

a double headed
Loch Ness like monster

has taken up residence
in my river



  1. Whether it was your quality as a photographer or a happy accident, your images came out like two dancers performing (what else?) 'Swan Lake'. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  2. Hello there Mr C.

    I did take many photos and also waited until they were diving in time knowing how it might look!

    I didn't, however, think of swan lake...if I had I might have named the post that...thanks for the addition...

    Happy days

  3. Wonderful post, beautiful pictures, and how brave you are, clomping around the swamp with a broken ankle.
    Thank you.

  4. Your black swans were really in unison with each other Delwyn...even the last photos...though each turned in different directions...they still look like a devoted pair.

  5. Hello there Moannie

    I didn't know that first day that it was broken though it did feel rather sore. But now 'tis all better...well almost - I am walking well, albeit with a fat foot and ankle...

    Happy days

  6. Hello Wanda

    they were a pleasure to watch diving so elegantly, and as I watched I noticed how they would at times what was I to do...I couldn't not take the opportunity...could I...

    Do swans mate for life...

    Happy days

  7. Wild black swans are very special to me ...thank you.

  8. Swan Lake came to mind for me as well Delwyn. Your new camera serves you well. These are excellent photos of an elegant dance.

  9. Delwyn:

    Such a great "capture". They truly look like graceful synchronized swimmers. They say when people are truly in love or have lived together for a long time - if you watch them closely - you will see that they cross their legs at the same time, pick up their wine glasses at the same time, dap their mouth with their napkin at the same time, etc. etc.

    So I would guess these gorgeous black swans mate for life - and like other species on this glorious planet, live in sync.

    Have you ever noticed this with your DB? I notice it often with mine - and it pleases and amuses me that we are doing a dance of love and are not even aware at the time.

    You are a determined photographer! Limping down a riverbank with a painful (broken) ankle to get your shot!!!

    All your efforts are much appreciated by your readers.

  10. hello delwyn - well i had heard of black swans and all this time i thought they were literary allusions. there they are. swimming through your lens and now across my screen. i had no idea!!! of course i love the mirroring of their bodies as they are eating. i wonder if that's conscious on their part? have a lovely evening by the river. steven

  11. Hello Delwyn

    What lovely black swans! Their synchronized motions are amazing! Now I know they really exist in this world, in your river!! Black swans are very special to me.

    I've read your recent posts and found Grevilleas fascinating! So many colors and shapes! They have lived since prehistoric
    Gondwana continent days, haven't they? What miraculous plants!
    "Gondwana" has a nice ancient ring!

    I enjoyed reading every post of yours! Thank you for sharing your marvelous world!

  12. Love the last photo. What a perfect pair!

  13. Delwyn, they certainly have their own charm to them now don't they? I've only ever heard they existed, but not seen them in this way... so close and just in an exquisite way.

    Your efforts in capturing this should be commended! Thanks for bringing to life this rare treat :)

  14. So incredibly elegant!!! Loved this.

  15. Like Steven and Bonnie said.

    But one thing they didn't ask and I wonder, what is the first photo of? I can't make it out.

  16. Oh Delwyn, what stunning photos of those swans! Too bad they didn't pose in a heart shape...

    The wildlife you come in contact with is a dream we city folk will never see come true, alas.

    Happy days indeed,

  17. Here in British Columbia we had an are called the Chilcotin, an aboriginal name. There is a book written that tells about an early settler, Ralph Edwards, who was known as The Crusoe of Lonesome Lake. He has been credited with bringing the Trumpeter Swan back from the edge of extinction in the early 1900's by having grains brought up into the wilderness where the migratory birds were in the winter.
    There are a few books written about this area with it's unforgiving winters and very rough terrain.
    Your black swans are so elegant and how lucky for you to have seen them again.

  18. Delwyn, there is little I say. The quality of the photos coupled with the startling, stunning subjects and then the synchronicity they displayed is a rare, rare, treat. Thank you so much, this actually moved me.

  19. They are so beautiful and graceful - how lucky to see a pair of them...

  20. Wonderful photos of those beautiful swans! Wow! Black swans aren't that common, are they?

  21. Hello Sarah

    I'm glad you loved them - they are very Australian...

    Happy days

  22. Hello Barry

    Thanks -I am loving the new camera's abilities...and surprises it gives me...

    Happy days

  23. Hi Bonnie

    The do mate for life and if one dies the other continues on alone... I also read that some pairs are both male. They have an advantage when it is dry and food supplies are low as they are more aggressive. Females will come and lay eggs in the men's nest, knowing that they have a greater chance of survival...the homosexual birds adopt the eggs...the female however is shooed off...
    Isn't nature incredible...

    The swans are not common on my river so I had to go for the shots...broken ankle or not...

    Happy days

  24. Hi Steven
    Black Swans were just that - a symbol of the far fetched and impossible, until the 18th century when they were found in Au.

    They were not always diving in time - I did wait for the perfect shot!

    Happy days

  25. Hi Sapphire,

    I wonder why they are so special to people...perhaps because they symbolize an impossibility...

    Gondwana does sound ancient like a bell ringing way back in time...

    Thanks for being apart of my blog world Sapphire

    Happy days

  26. Hi KB - such contrast and also they have white flying feathers...

    Willow - thanks for coming today...

    Ellen - very...

    Happy days

  27. Hello Vicky

    I am so glad that these appear to be a rarity for some of you...all the better to post about...

    I'm glad you appreciate the shots Vicky...

    Happy days

  28. Hi Dan

    the first time I saw them - with broken ankle - I squished around in the mangrove flats in the rain and all around my feet were these transparent horseshoe shaped jellyfish...

    Happy days

  29. Hello Lola in Rome

    I asked them to Lola, but you can't always get what you want...

    But at least you can see it through my lens...

    Happy days

  30. Hi Lori

    I googled your Chilcotin swan - he is a fine specimen...

    I will watch mine to see how long they stay before returning to the interior.

    Happy days

  31. Thank you Titus

    for your kind remarks, and sharing with me your obvious enjoyment of the post...It makes my efforts doubly rewarding...

    Happy days

  32. Hi Amy

    after reading a little on wikipedia I am wondering if they did actually have cygnets with them the first time that I saw them, maybe it was a pair of would seem that they breed inland...

    Happy days

  33. Hi Nancy

    I read that there are black swans in NZ having been introduced from Au. There are some in Devon (I think it said) in the UK and maybe a very few in Europe...

    Happy days

  34. So beautiful!! I've never seen black swans before...these are amazing creatures!

  35. I was so surprised to see your post about the black swans! I recently took a book about New Zealand off my shelf to loan to a friend - she and her husband will spend several weeks in both Australia and New Zealand. As I paged through the book, I realized that I had made journal entries of the places we'd visited. At one stop near Farewell Spit, we saw flocks of black swans floating on a glimmering turquoise sea. It was one of the highlights of my trip, and I hold the image in my memory. However, I was using a disposable camera and couldn't capture anything but a dark speck on the water. Your photos brought back the beauty of the swans - thank you for sharing them with us.

  36. Hello Barb

    I read that the NZ swans came from AU, while they can fly that distance they were introduced and love it there.
    How nice that this post triggered those memories for you. NZ is a glorious place - to visit!
    I hope your friend has a great trip...

    Happy days

  37. Delwyn,
    Oh My Gosh! that was fantastic. Black swans?! Oh, you do live in a magical place. I love your photos. How do you find the time to post so often, and so beautifully? i am amazed.
    thank you for sharing. ☺

  38. Hi Sherry

    I didn't realise until you started to respond that they are quite unusual swans found in only a few places in the world...

    Happy days

  39. Hello Lori ann

    Thanks Lori ann for coming by and for your enthusiasm today...

    I walk most days so always have fodder for a post...and am also always having other postable ideas!

    The truth is that my kids have grown, my days are my own, after chores and exercise and the occasional few hours at work I am a free while I have the enthusiasm and joy for blogging I will continue...

    Happy days

  40. I don't think I have ever seen a black swan. They are very elegant.
    Sunny :)

  41. The camera makes you seem just a few feet away from the swans! Their necks are so long and agile! I like those last two shots! xx

  42. Margaret - hi...that zoom lens is worth its weight in gold...

    Happy days

    Sunny hello there,

    I had not realised how rare they actually are...

    Happy days


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