Encounters with Swans

Swan reflected in water,Hever Castle grounds,U.K 2013

Throughout the U.K and Europe we encountered many white swans, who were a  contrast to the black ones we have in Australia. Each time the sight of these majestic and graceful birds was extremely awe inspiring. so much so it initiated a desire to try to work with them as an art expression.

The first attempt to honour the wonder of seeing these beautiful birds occurred recently with the creation of a small naturescape.  Part of the magic of observing swans gliding on lakes and rivers was the mirroring of their reflections in the water and it was this that I tried to represent.

A small felt scene with swan on lake
Swan Scene
Another view of the swan felt scape to show the attempt to give an impression of the swan's reflection in water.
Reflecting Beauty

In the Lakes District there were large numbers of swans who  floated with and between the busy water traffic

Swans gliding around boats on Lake Windermere,U.K
Water Traffic Lake Windermere.U.K

and congregated on the lake edges. Most of the birds looked extremely overfed by the tourists and all were quite willing to pose for yet another picture .

Swan posing for a photo in the Lakes District,U.K
Posing-again! Lake District,U.K

This was  the situation also on the River Thames at Windsor, where many swans coexisted with the frenzied pace of tourism and industry.

Swans at Windsor,U.K
Swans at Windsor,U.K

Swans belong to the Crown in the U.K and were not only to be found on the rivers and lakes but also residents  in the streams and ponds of  historic properties, parks and botanic gardens. They  seem to have adapted well  to modern life, and this factor does reveal that nature can and will adapt if possible. This situation also gives hope.

However,  the swans were continually being fed by the tourists , most of that being junk food such as chips and bread. They were also swimming in waterways that were, in many instances, polluted. These factors cause me to wonder if the swans, like humans, are beginning to succumb, not only to injury, but also to dietary and stress related diseases. Sadly the cygnets also are much threatened by foxes, as well as feral cats and dogs.

Thankfully for now many do survive to inspire to delight us with their beauty.

Swan parents with three cygnets at Ambleside,U.K
A new generation

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