Swans

I was kayaking downstream on the Charles one Saturday evening this past July when I came upon a family of swans.

Swan Family
Swan Family

Papa Swan was not at all happy to see me; whenever I started to get close, he’d paddle rapidly toward me, and start hissing, while the mother stayed close to the younger ones.

Papa Swan to the defense
Papa Swan to the defense. Note the bow wave on him.

I’d back off, and once I was out of the defense perimeter, he’d stop and go back to watching me, until I got too close again.

That area was a veritable nursery that night, because I also saw a mother duck with a whole herd of ducklings at the edge of the water:

Ducklings
Ducklings

This past Saturday, I was back on the Charles in the same area, and saw the swan family swimming ahead of me, all in a row. The cute little swanlings are now in the equivalent of the awkward teenager stage:

Adolescent Swans
Adolescent Swans

They’re now almost as big as their parents, and starting to lose their gray plumage in favor of white.