A Sign of the Times?

As those of you who follow my blog regularly know, it has been bloody hot where I am. So much so that I have pretty much stayed inside my apartment within touching distance of the air conditioner. Well on Sunday that trend broke. So, I decided to do one of my favourite pastimes and go down to the lake to watch the birds.

There has been some recent flooding so my favourite spot was out of bounds. No worries. I chose another and sat back to watch. I saw ducks playing in the water and I saw a big beautiful swan preening within close proximity to those ducks. Everyone seemed to be getting along.

And then . . . an ear shattering sound erupted from several feet behind me. It was a woman who had perhaps never seen a Swan before. The air around me shattered as she burst forth to the edge of the water with camera tightly gripped in her hand or perhaps it was a phone. Evidently the Swan was not facing in the appropriate direction so she proceeded to stage direct this beautiful wild creature. ‘SWAN! HEY SWAN! LOOK THIS WAY!”

Now a few minutes prior to this incident it was quiet. I could hear people in boats a few hundred meters away quietly speaking to one another. I could hear the water lapping on the shore as paddle boats went by. The gentle swish of the canoes as they made their way to open water. It was an idyllic setting. And then she exploded on to the scene.

The Swan looked. As did the ducks, the people across the bay, the paddle boaters and I’m pretty sure most of my small town were jolted out of their reverie and looked. She screamed “I GOT IT!” Whirled around and left. That’s it. She didn’t see the beauty; she saw an acquisition. She had her picture and I doubt she noticed anything else that was going on around her.

A few minutes later a duck with nine or 10 ducklings in tow came to within a few feet of me. These ducklings were so young they didn’t have their flight wings yet. Adorable little bundles of down. There were some sandbags placed to, I guess, stop the flooding and they hopped up on to them and nestle down for a nap. It was an incredible sight!

Every now and then one would stretch its little wings or raise its bum and deftly poop to a distance. Mom kept an eye on me but I didn’t move. I didn’t want to disturb them. After about 15 or 20 minutes, mom and most of the ducklings moved on. Three them sat and watched me for another five minutes. Then one of them raised his little head and the three of them hopped into the water to follow after mom and the rest. I felt blessed to have been a witness.

I feel sorry for that woman. Those ducks would never have approached amid her loud observations of her surroundings. And I’ll bet she wouldn’t see anything anyway. She was too concerned, too focused, on one trophy. She’s going to miss the world. She will have proof of being here but no memory of the experience. Perhaps that is a sign of the times. Life will become a digitized trophy in a .com file somewhere.

33 thoughts on “A Sign of the Times?

  1. Dan Antion

    I’m sorry that woman interrupted your morning. I understand people wanting to get pictures, I am such a person, but I try very hard not to startle or scare the critters away. The swan, and the ducks would have posed eventually. If only she had waited.

    I love your photos, Pam.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. scifihammy

    Ah I hear you! Such an annoying woman, ploughing through life and disturbing everyone and everything.
    I’m so glad she left, so you could sit quietly and have Nature come join you. Lovely photos too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Emilie

    I was out on a little panga (motorboat in Mexico) years back to see gray whales. I kept trying to take good photos when it occurred to me I was missing the actual time with whales. Duh!
    I put the camera down and sat in their midst and felt such peace, such spirit, such beauty. But I didn’t holler once, I promise!

    Liked by 2 people

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      1. Emilie

        One of the most deeply spiritual moments of my life! One mamma approached our panga. I (and everyone else) touched her head and we looked into each other’s eyes. I nearly wept (I did later!)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Murphy's Law

    Love your photos Pam! What an oaf that woman is. All she has is a picture. Nothing more. No story to tell about observing the swan or maybe interacting with it on some level. No experience, just that picture. In a few years she won’t even remember where she was when she took it. Guess she’ll never stop to smell the roses!!

    So glad she left so you could spend some quiet time with these little sweethearts.

    Hmmmm, if swans spoke our language, I wonder how it would’ve responded to her! 😂😂
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Jennie

    I seriously wonder if she will ever ‘get it’. Lovely story, Pam. There is so much to see if we only take the time to look. I hope the heat wave has broken so you can enjoy more ducks and swans.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Mark Lanesbury

    I feel that with great empathy Pam. I have about 20 swans out the front of my place and all of these people get on their stand up paddle boards to, I thought, get a little exercise while appreciating their lovely surroundings traveling across the water.
    I have never seen so many people ‘chase’ the swans. Is it some sort of disease, something from our knuckle dragging ancestors that must attack something that is alive? Or maybe they haven’t had lunch? Sheesh!
    Do you know those fairground attractions where the little artificial ducks travel across in front of you and you try to shoot them with a peagun…do you think I would get into trouble if I played that game with the board riders that chase the swans? I’m sure they would understand 😀
    Sorry Pam, that is one of my ‘agitations’ in life, apparently I still have more inner work to do 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. pensitivity101

      Oh I am so with you on this! I’ve seen little ‘darlings’ (aka brats) chasing these wonderful birds and would so like to push them in the pond. It’s Canada geese and ducks here, but the principle is the same.
      When we had the boat, the swans would swim by our windows and often bring their babies alongside, though we had never attempted to feed them. I have some lovely photos on cygnets growing up. My Mum would have loved them.

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  7. pensitivity101

    Silly woman to miss all that potential beauty of Nature first hand.
    I know what you mean though Pam. We have three new broods of ducklings this week, and the earlier ones (late April/early May) are almost the size of adults now.
    We had a welcoming committee of five females and three older ducklings when we started our walk round the lake today. They have come to recognise us and I always talk to them.
    By the time we got to the other side of the lake, we have about thirty behind us contentedly swimming in the water. Wonderful.
    Maggie doesn’t bother them and quite often we’ve sat on a bench with a bag of seed and been surrounded by ducks and their babies, even with the dog close by. The geese come wading in, but we’ve got wise and go where we’re not in their direct line of sight. They are starting to fly off during the day now, so the ducks will get the lion’s share.

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. pensitivity101

        Everything seems back to front this year. In 2018, the goslings came first and then the ducklings, but this year it’s been ducklings, goslings, then more ducklings. This could be because TPTB raided the nests to keep the geese numbers down as there must have been well over 50 young last year. It’s lovely to watch them and the geese have let me get quite close to take pictures again this year.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. oldmainer

    Oh, you are so right on with this Pam. Ironically, I just read an article this morning about people who no longer enjoy an evening trip to a restaurant because of the noise and lack of respect for their surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. delphini510

    Wonderfully told real event. It rolls before my eyes as a film with sound track.
    The peace shattered, the hysteria, the manic obsession whilst real life was going on
    all around. There to witness and yes, photograph, in peace.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Donna Florack

    I was kind-of hoping you’d say the swan did as swans often do – chased after her and gave her butt a good bite. That would’ve been justice served. Usually swans and geese don’t take kindly to being disturbed.

    Liked by 1 person

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