Monday, April 17, 2017

A Tree, Two Swans, and Some Foxes - Forward Looking With Reflections

 The Hummingbird and The Pine Tree - Ties 
Kira Jane Buxton

appeared  @ where a 
     A commenter observed: "Exquisite- Both reflective and forward looking."  
so here beginning on Annandag Påsk

A Tree, Two Swans, and Some Foxes - Forward Looking With Reflections 


A Tree in a Wheat Field Becomes The Tree In The Pond
I had just returned from the USA and had arrived at km 3 of LOK Milen, the 10 km
trail I used to run so often, passing by wetlands, wheat fields, and pastures along a small stream, at km 3 and again at km 8. But on this day in 2011 all that had changed, the
stream had been dammed and there before me a single tree, Alnus glutinosa, a
European Alder, surrounded by a pond, Ullstämma sjö, the perfect mirror.

Alnus thrives best in a wetland environment but being in deeper water was too much, The Tree in The Pond was no longer alive by the next early spring in 2012 but still stands in 2017, the source of an infinite variety of reflections making its reflection, at least, a living thing.

The ponds, this one Ullstämma with The Tree in full flower, were not created to provide mirrors for trees, however beautiful the reflections might be. The dam  - right edge of the image - was built in April 2011 in order to create new waterfowl habitat to bring back the Swedish sångsvan, Cygnus cygnus, that had almost become extinct many years earlier and many other threatened species.

Success came quickly. Ullstämma sjö is the pond in the distant background. This larger pond, divided in two by the dirt road crossing Ekängen sjö was found by a pair of swans that are two specks of white barely visible in the foreground of the image, a pair I have been studying ever since from 2011 to the present, April 2017.

The cycle begins. The sångsvan pair, together for life, pick one of the small rocky islands, make the nest and the female lays her eggs, keeps them warm, and waits. And then, without fail since 2011 the cygnets (baby swans) appear, six to eight in number, here eight.

From then on the cygnets are a shared responsibility of the pair of parents. Often with one parent leading a single file of cygnets and the other guarding the last in line. Sooner or later, at least one young is not there the next day. We never know what took that one, often one who cannot quite keep up when they are feeding on land.

Always together - except - when the male takes to the air like a rocket flying low, then a great arc above and a landing to spend some time alone. But always returning. The ties that bind are very strong.