Brown. The grass, the trees – brown. I like brown on tree trunks, deer, rabbits and other critters. But this long fall that has drug into a winter of brown thus far; it’s getting old. Maybe my mind is closed but it’s been hard to find joy and inspiration lately. For when it isn’t brown it’s; well it’s dark. So on the “brown morning” after Christmas I decided to go in search of what I could find.
The mild winter has left a peculiar site on many of the Minnesota lakes. It is very strange to see ice houses out there and 100 feet or so away find open water and waves blowing in the wind. But on this morning I found more than I could have imagined as a small flock of Trumpeter swans paddled away in the cold waters of Lake Cowdry. Diving for food in the early hours of light, they bobbed back and forth from one end of the open channel to another. I visited with another observer while I was getting the digital captures and he thought they may have been Tundra swans. However, I did a little research after the shoot and verified that these were Trumpeters. The deep dark V at the crown of their nose and the continuous slope from forehead over the nose were the key indicators.
For a time, I wished for better background; maybe a litte fog for an ethereal setting or lakeside grasses. But then I decided that the rippling water wasn’t that bad. Besides, any way you looked at it these birds were beautiful. The individuals had various temperaments and attachments to each other as was noted by their reactions to other swans or the mallards that drifted in amongst them. As noted in the shot labeled “Trumpeter Attitude”, this one didn’t mind giving his opinion to photographers either.
I was so glad that I had ventured out that morning. Nothing was expected but look what ended up being there. Two days later when I made it back to the site, they were gone. The strong gale force winds, encroachment of ice houses or combination thereof was obviously more than they wanted to deal with. I don’t know where they went but they certainly made for a great joy that day after Christmas. I hope they added a little pleasure to your evening as well. Have a good night.