Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cygnus olor’

Swans seem almost angelic in their beauty and I was thrilled to spot this pair of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) yesterday as I strolled along the Seine River in Paris. I had the impression that the swans wanted to swim nearer to the middle of the river channel but were unable to do so because of the numerous boats filled with gawking tourists.

Periodically, as you can see in the second and third photo below, the swans had to deal with the waves created by the passing boats. However, they did not complain out loud—they are mute swans after all. The swan in the first image may have been signaling its displeasure, though I believe it was merely trying to dry its wings after being doused by a high wave.

Mute Swan in Paris

Mute Swan in Paris

Mute Swans in Paris

Mute Swan on the Seine

Mute Swans on the Seine

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Read Full Post »

I was thrilled last Friday to spot this Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) at Horn Pond in Woburn, Massachusetts. Growing up in a suburb of Boston, I remember visiting the Boston Public Garden and riding in the famous pedal-powered Swan Boats there. As a result, the mere sighting of a swan is enough to trigger fond memories of my childhood.

Readers of my generation (and maybe even younger folks) may recall that the Swan Boats were featured prominently in the beloved book “Make Way for Ducklings.” I was a little surprised to learn from Wikipedia that the Swan Boats have been in operation since 1877.

“Robert Paget first created the Swan Boats in the Public Garden in 1877, after seeing the opera Lohengrin with his wife Julia Paget. Inspired by the knight’s gallant rescue of the damsel by riding a swan across the lake, Paget decided to capitalize on the recent popularity of the bicycle and combine the two, designing a two-pontooned boat with two wooden benches and a brass seat on top of a paddlebox concealed by a swan. The driver would sit inside the swan and pedal passengers around the pond.”

One of the amazing things is that the Swan Boats have remained virtually unchanged since that time.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

One of the most exciting things that I have observed during this brief trip to Brussels has been a family of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) swimming in a small pond at the Rouge-Cloître park. I have seen swans a few times before in the wild, but I had never seen baby swans. As you might expect, they are really cute. Both of the parents seemed to be very attentive to the little ones and stayed close to them at all times. The baby swans, technically known as cygnets, seemed to be very curious and energetic and interacted a lot with each other as they explored the world.

Swan babies

Swan babies

Swan babies

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I will be heading home soon after my brief stay in Vienna, Austria and thought I would post a few last wildlife photos that I took here. These images help reinforce to me the notion that there is always something interesting in nature to photograph, no matter where I happen to be.

The first image is an unidentified species of frog that I encountered at the edge of a pond while wandering about the Donau-Auen National Park. It reminds me of the Southern Leopard Frog that I often see at home in Northern Virginia.

frog in VIenna

The second image appears to be a Viennese Banded Snail (Cepaea vindobonensis) that I also spotted in the National Park.  I thought that it was really cool the way that it had attached itself to the vegetation.

Viennese Banded Snail

The final image shows what I believe to be a Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) that I saw at the Stadtpark (“city park”) not far from the hotel where I am staying. I always find swans to be beautiful and graceful, even when located in an urban environment.

swan in Vienna

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I was hoping that I would be in Vienna at the right time of the year to see baby swans, but I guess my trip brought me here a bit too early. At the lake at Donau-Auen National Park, I could see one Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) swimming around and wondered if it was alone. When I walked further around the lake, I spotted what appears to be its mate, partially hidden by the vegetation, sitting on a nest.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Today I had some free time to wander about in the Donau-Auen National Park in Vienna, Austria.I am visiting Vienna for a few days on a business trip and decided that I did not want to fight the crowds at the numerous Christmas markets in the city.

It was cool and windy and I did not see as much wildlife as I did during a visit there last April. However I did manage to spot a family of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor). Two of them—one adult and one adolescent—landed on ice that had formed on the small lake and they struggled to walk across the slippery surface to reach open water. The adult, who was bright white in color, moved with much more confidence than the dusky-colored youngster, who moved in a cautious and tentative way. I suspect that it was the first time that the young swan had encountered ice.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swans

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Read Full Post »

During my two walks through the Donau-Auen National Park in Vienna, Austria I encountered Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) in several locations swimming about and foraging for food. Their beauty and grace was remarkable and their white feathers were dazzling—it is easy to see why they have inspired music and ballet. Through the reeds I also spotted a female swan sitting on a nest. I would love to have seen baby swans, but I guess it’s still a bit too early.

As I was doing a little research, I was a bit surprised to learn that Mute Swans are not native to North America—they are an introduced species. I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts and my earliest memories of swans are the pedal-powered swan boats in the Boston Public Garden. According to Wikipedia, those swan boats have been in operation since 1877.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »