Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem- babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem- babsjeheron

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon…

The Sun, Mary Oliver, excerpt
New and Selected Poems

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

On cold winter days, one of the Mute Swans resident on my small lake watched from just beyond the dock as I refilled the birdfeeders each morning. When my back was turned as I walked up to the house, the Swan would occasionally venture into the yard to scoop up seeds scattered by our winter birds – Blue Jays and Cardinals and Chickadees.

But only when my back was turned.

The winter turned harsher than any in recent memory. The birds were ravenous and emptied all the feeders before noon.

And then one morning it happened.

The Swan climbed up the short bank to where I stood at the third feeder. He dipped his head, bending that graceful neck down and then back up.


We locked eyes.

I extended my arm tenuously towards the Swan, my gloved hand full of seeds.

As he nibbled hungrily, I stared at the top of his head. The feathers weren’t the pristine white I expected to see. And they didn’t look like any feather I’d seen before or since. They looked like rows of the tiniest, finest wale corduroy imaginable.

Peaceable co-existence abounded on those frigid mornings. And eventually the Swan became comfortable with my presence.

I love peaceable co-existence, wherever – and however – it manifests.



This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Dawn Miller and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Artificial Light. Herons usually don’t hang out in artificial light where I live, so how about two photos illuminated by artificial light.

TCAN One-Woman Show December 2019-January 2020 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2021 Babsje (

TCAN Lobby Wall Photo with TCAN Graphic Reflection

x-ray of broken heel © 2021 Babsje (

My Broken Heel – An X-Ray uses Artificial Light


Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. The Herons bring joy.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . This post has muted autumn leaves, to go with the mute swans.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial wLight .

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .


Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and they need your love.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
Natick Town Hall
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
Audubon Sanctuary

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Mute Swan

Posted on September 25, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Birds, Festival of Leaves, Heron, Mute Swan, Nature, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. To extend a hand toward what has power to hurt you–what a gesture in this world.

    • Hi Gary. I’m touched by your comment that is sensitive to the reality – Swans are often aggressive. That Swan in fact literally chased two women off the lake after their small pedal boat ventured too close. I think Swans – like Crows and Ravens – know who, and when, to trust. Best, Babsje

  2. That was indeed a great honour for the Swan to come up to you like that and it must of been very very hungry as well! I can’t get near the Trumpeters!
    You sure broke your heel there Babsje! Hope It’s healing well!

    • Hi Wayne. Many thanks for your kind words. And I agree with you – that was one very hungry Swan. Mute Swans are not actually mute. They do have voices and they use them to let another creature, including errant humans, know they are displeased. And that specific Swan aggressively defended his territory on the lake. He did not let the Canada Geese pair mate and establish a nest there by aggressively chasing the male Goose off. And he also chased a pair of womwn so fiercely they abandoned their pedal craft on the shore. So it was indeed an honor to be approached peacefully by that Swan. I’m glad I was able to help sustain him through that winter. Best, Babsje

  3. WOW. Love that first one especially. Great shot. Ugly heel! I’ve had a sort right heel for some time. Received a cortisone shot. Not broken! Now my left ankle, that’s another story. A lot of hardware still there.

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment and well wishes, John. I hope the cortisone helps, and I remember you had posted your ankle x-ray a couple months back. Does your hardware set off airport security systems? They wanted to surgically pin my heel back together but I channeled Nancy Reagan and just said no. Conservative treatment worked but still a few months to go before I can ditch the cane. Glad you liked the Swan photo. I wish the leaves were more vibrantly red. Best, Babsje

  4. Great photo capture!!
    Hope you will recover soon.

    • Hi Amy. Glad you like the Mute Swans and many thanks for the well wishes. Also I just saw your own post for the new LAPC topic. I should have waited a couple of hours and posted the Swans for that one. Your own autumn photos are gorgeous. Best, Babsje

  5. Ah, a perfect shot. 😁👍

  6. of course I love the birds in flight – and at first I did think this post would have went well for this week’s color theme – and then saw your comment to Amy –
    oh and clever using the X-ray for the artificial light – such a powerful example because that kind of light is super advanced

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Yes, Festival of Leaves is the annual challenge celebrating autumn and I wrote this one for that challenge. I’ll have different fall photos for Amy’s LAPC in a few days. Glad you liked the Swans in flight and you’re right – x-rays are an advance Artificial light technology. Best, Babsje

  7. What a beautiful entry! Just heard that a friend’s mother passed from Covid early this morning. Seeing your beautiful photos and story reminds me how important it is to all support eachother through difficult times.

    • Hi Naomi. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s mother passing. You’re so right that we all need to support each other. Life is a wonderful gift. Best, Babsje

  8. Ah, serenely beautiful, the couple. So well caught. Hope you will soon recover!

  9. Beautiful images, Babsje, of the swans in flight. Lovely!

    • Many thanks Patti for your kind words. I’m happy that you appreciate the tandem Mute Swans. It was thrilling to watch their synchronized flight as they circled the lake, climbing higher with each revolution over the shores. Best, Babsje

  10. Seems you’re a bird whisperer… 😍

  11. Wow…that’s simply amazing. Seriously, the swan was eating out of your hand? Wonderful. I agree with the blogger above–you must be a bird whisperer.

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