For a recent “Love Inspired” swap for the “A Thousand Words” group on swap-bot Gale D., my partner, went birds and feathers on me. The goal of the swap was to pair a love quote with an appropriate photo.
Gale settled on a quote from A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh:
Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.
Gale does a lot of bird photography, so she sent me two of her favorite photos.
The first, a pair of Mute Swans:
According to Gale’s note, the Mute Swans “stay together forever. It saves time and energy, and they produce more cygnets this way. They make a great team.”
I found some interesting tidbits about Mute Swans on Cornell University’s All About Birds Site. Here are some of my favorites:
- Mute Swans are not native to North America
- The swans pretty much mate for life, but will find another mate if a partner dies
- Their reputation for monogamy along with their white plumage has helped establish them as a symbol of love in many cultures
- The Mute Swan is the “star” of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling
- The swans are pretty aggressive (so give them lots of space)
- The oldest known Mute Swan is 26 years, 9 months old
Gale also sent a pair of Canada Geese and their goslings.
Gale wrote that she loves Canada Geese, but although they adapt around humans well, she hasn’t had much opportunities to get close to the geese. Ironically, she lives in Canada. This particular photo was shot in a cemetery pond.
There are a LOT of Canada Geese on the university campus where I work. She’d have no problem getting up close and personal with them. During early fall, they pretty much rule the campus, even stopping traffic at times. That can be annoying, but it is a pretty glorious sight to see them take flight in formation.
During the second year of their lives Canada Geese find a mate, and like Mute Swans, they are monogamous and mate for life.
It truly is inspiring to find such “faithfulness” and “loyalty” in the animal kingdom. We often think so little of them, but we have so much to learn from them.