Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vacation at Swan Lake

The absence of posts here thus far in October? The explanation is quite simple. We were on vacation at a place we learned to call Swan Lake. Goaded by habits I left here armed with all the necessary tools of blogging, not least a long list of passwords. We had two fully functional computers handy at this mysterious location, with Internet connections, printers, all the rest. I also took my camera—and, of course, its charger thing and cable. But then, as we fell under the spell of this place—beginning with shivery, foggy mornings but persisting until the reddening sunset—to our left as we looked from the high porch—all thought of writing anything at all, much less the efforts demanded by a blog post, vanished. Did not take a single picture. We watched, we talked, and we read. Therefore my only suitable picture is the one that follows…

…or perhaps this one here:

Both were taken at “Swan Lake,” to be sure, but while the first features Mute Swans, with yellow bills (they make no noise unless they’re flying), the second shows a somewhat rare descent on the lake of a clan of Trumpeter Swans (black bills and lots of noise). We saw swarms at least as big and bigger of the mutes every day, observed their daily routines and travels. And our two favorite herons, the occasional passage of honking geese, and, of course, the ducks… Fog, overcast skies, thunderstorms, rain, and the kind of October days so bright and lit we forgot how to spell Eden.

Now Swan Lake, it turns out, is but Wolverine Lake, about fifty miles from where we live, the place Monique and John call home. They were both off to the West Coast on a combination of work and a brief family visit. When Monique returned (she came first, different flights) all charged up with the wonders of California, the coastal drive north, and the beauties of Oregon, Brigitte and I, still entranced with our experiences of the Lake, were, as it were mute swans and barely able to say that what the Pacific Coast had been for our children was Magical Michigan for the two of us. And great experience! Life first! Blobbing is a very distant second.


  1. Oh, I'm so happy to read this. It reassures me that you two did relax a bit between weeding our garden, fixing our broken kitchen gadgets and doing other tasks around our house... And I'm very happy to hear that you got to see some of the Trumpeters swans native to our area, since they only stop by here for a couple of weeks a year. Being the unusual ones, we especially like them.

  2. As John will tell you, Monique, that picture of the trumpeter swans was taken by him a long time ago. It struck me that we have very few pictures of swans on the lake. At one point during our time, we saw fifty-nine of the regular mute swans right in front of the dock -- and, of course, I should have taken a picture of that. Oh, yes. We did a lot of relaxing -- and here and there a little chore...


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