Our first sighting
Two day old cygnets

Our resident swan pair was nesting on the tail of Flat Iron Lake, in plain view from the path next to the woods.  Since the trees were not yet leafed out, it was easy to spot them even from the driveway.  Because of last year’s experience (see 9/17/2010, Swan's Song), I worried over them when the abundant rain caused the water level to rise, and the nest looked swamped.  I worried when I witnessed Mr. Swan fighting off a goose that strayed into the territory.  I worried that the babies were late to hatch and might not hatch at all. 

A family outing
But the day after the world was supposed to come to an end, we made a routine stop and there they were!  New life: four babies easily visible from the soggy shore.  Immediately I began to pray for but worry about their survival, especially when I saw the parents eating green algae.  I remembered the year that one baby listed in the water and finally died because his little digestive system could not process the course food.  Now I worry that the hungry snapping turtle is hovering nearby ready to drag away a baby for supper. 

Today was the first time we saw them outside the cove: the family of six out enjoying a warm (90 degree) Memorial Day.  I kept counting the babies, just to be sure.  They circled the perimeter of the lake, ending near our dock.  The camera and I rush down the hill for a rare close-up.  Mr. Swan saw me as danger and moved his family to a safe distance, while I snapped away.  It looks like there is one boy baby (slightly darker) and three girls. 

I suppose the one-week-old babies are not yet out of danger but I worry less.  We long for the companionship of swans from early spring’s nesting to fall when the babies learn to fly and leave us again.  Praise God!  The cycle of life continues.


Luann Kempema
05/31/2011 2:53pm

Yes, the cycle of life continues and the giver of life is in charge.
Would it be possible for my friend and me to come and visit possibly on Monday, June 20? She is very interested in prairie resoration and recently purchased some land up north and wants to learn more about this process.
Your cousin,

Carol Rottman
06/01/2011 5:18pm

You are welcomed to join the Wild Ones group on that Monday night. The summer students will also tell about their research that night.


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