But finally, they showed them selves again in full view of our windows. I grabbed the binoculars so as to account for the cygnets. No matter what angle I viewed, I could see only one bright white one between the parents. My heart sank. Three gone, just like that? Finally I spotted a darker body almost camouflaged by the ripples and shade on the lake. Two survived—a male and a female. My disappointment at losing some turned to a celebration that at least two remained. Convinced that they are big enough now to elude their predators, I rest easy—hoping to enjoy watching the little family for the rest of the season. They must stay on the lake until the babies learn to fly from their parents, usually late September, which is a sight to behold.
I also spot many places in the yard and along the road where the snapping turtles have laid their eggs. The eggs are now broken and strewn close to the indented soft earth. Another kind of predator ate the potential offspring of a predator. I suppose I should cry over them as well—but today I don’t mind if there are going to be fewer snapping turtles laying in wait for the baby swans. How do we decide which life is more important?