April 8, 2004

Battle of the birds

This evening I returned to the bayous of the Manistee River to check in on a nesting swan.

Both the pen (female) and the cob (male) swans were there as well as a few other ducks and geese. The sun was just going down, and the lighting was wonderful. I took some peaceful shots of the pen floating through water reflecting bronze light.

Then the image of peace was shattered. One of the geese dared venture too close to the swan. The swan paddled after the poor goose like a battle ship on a mission. Eventually the swan got too close and the goose began to run across the water to escape, with the swan in hot pursuit.

They ran with their webbed feet on the water and their wings beating to keep them aloft. The evening night was alive with the honking of the goose, the wheezing of the swan, and the splashing of water. The swan pushed the goose past some invisible boundary, then they both coasted to a stop and a truce was called.

And then the peace returned.

April 7, 2004

April 11, 2004