I Abandoned The Vacuum Cleaner*

This is a follow-up to the stories My Breakfast Went Cold and Scent Of An Evening, published on May 15 and June 1, 2017 respectively. Ever since I laid eyes on the most adorable (feathered) family in my neighborhood, I decided to get to know them better. Much to my delight, discovering them on the backyard dock was not a one-shot deal. As it turned out, the Swan Family comes every day around noon for a nap, before they continue on their merry way for the rest of the afternoon. They return at dusk, do a more serious preening session and, weather permitting, settle down for the evening. If the pavement remains warm from the long hours of sunshine during the day, they spend the night on the docks, with Papa Swan going off on a midnight swim from time to time with Mr. Mallard, the insomniac duck, or for a chat with the goose, Baron Mecker von Gans. Mother Swan never leaves the little ones alone, and when she feels that her husband has been gone far too long, she stands up and stretches out her neck in annoyance, scanning the river for her absconding partner.

Day after day I watched with delight as the feathered baby balls grew into what I can only describe as swan toddlers. They started becoming more chatty among each other, and venturing out for little swims on their own, but always within Mommy’s line of vision. Although it looked as though Father Swan does nothing more than preen his gorgeous feathers, he keeps a sharp watch for any movement, animal or human. He has spotte me on several occasions, and I am very grateful that I have a powerful lens to keep my distance. The last thing I need in my life is an angry papa swan on my case.

The entire neighborhood knows them and respects their presence. For the boat owners docked in front of our building, the Swan Family poses a challenge because nobody wants to scare them away by going about the daily chores on the boats.

June 7, 2017 ©MTHerzog

Today, while vacuuming in the conservatory, I looked out and spotted the family again, and much to my delight, realized that it would be a great moment to shoot an update. The weather is far from ideal, with gusty winds and dark clouds above, but I had a few wonderful minutes with my feathered friends. Oh how the little ones have grown! They are every bit as adorable as when I first saw them, although I cannot explain what happened to the other two who have gone missing. From a brood of five, only three remain. They are more confident, but the parents remain every bit as protective.

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