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.
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.