Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Swan song

Not for this way, no how.

I heard the music of swans twice today. With the cold Arctic air we've been receiving, the gray skies and snowflakes and ice around the edges of the ponds, it is time for swans.

The last time I heard swans, it was in the spring, just when I was getting a new refrigerator...Strange coincidence, Floridacracker?

Anyway, swans have a voice than summon you from the depths of whatever it was you were involved with. I heard the swans from inside my cookshed, with music playing. The first time, I was stocking walleye in a lake, but I paused to hear the muted whistles, the sweet music of a V-formation of swans flying overhead, chased by the wind, by the snow, by the grey clouds of November. The second time, I rushed outside in a second. The perfect V of swans flew right over the house. Wow.

These are Tundra swans, which like their name, travel from the tundra to the Gulf coast and beyond. They are wild and beautiful, with a haunting call that reminds me of cold winds and snowflakes and frozen marshes with yellow grasses and red shrubs. Beautiful.

Tomorrow for work I'm going on a three hour road trip down to pretty near southern Minnesota to pick up some walleye to stock in one of our local lakes. Three hours one way, that is. I wish our trucks had CD players; I've been enjoying a couple CD's by a local group, Trampled By Turtles, lately. Oh well, it will be nice to see some of the country I don't normally see.


pablo said...

You know, it would only be about another seven hours to reach Kansas City. You could come by and we could have a late lunch. My treat!

I've never hears swans, so you could tell me all about it.

vicki said...

I'm closer- come by here and I'll treat you to a Chicago dog for lunch and you can be at Pablo's by dinner.

I loved the pair of swans that lived at Wit's End and often brought their cygnets over to visit by the end of the dock. I miss them!

Have a safe and pleasant drive.

Anonymous said...

Did you go to Renville? Just a guess as I am sure there are other fisheries around the area, but if so we could of had lunch- I am only 40 min. away!

Anonymous said...

Another new bird for me at Deb's house! We have the trumpeters that pass through this way, and up north where I used to live, they had their nesting grounds. I took a link and it's interesting how they compare. I'll have to keep looking and find a recording of the whistler's call.

the dharma bum said...

deb - that's great! i don't think i've ever heard or seen swans, though someone i was talking to said their parents were going down near red wing last weekend to see them. i think i'll have to make a point of seeing them sometime soon.

i've wondered if you'd heard trampled by turtles and what you thought of them. i've seen them play a couple times and think they're great. i hear there might be drums on their new record. GASP!

safe travels.

Floridacracker said...

Hope the drive went well. I've never heard a swan so I have to just imagine ... same for the wolf's howl.

Fridge excitement, now that I know.

Deb said...

pablo- I know what the drive from Minneapolis to Jefferson City is like. It would have been fun. :)

vicki- I also know what the drive thru Chicago is like, and we'll probably be making it Thanksgiving chance for stopping, but I'll think of you!

prairie chick- actually I went to Hutchinson, which is way south for me. I know there is a fisheries headquarters in Windom, and a couple of my coworkers are going to Ortonville tomorrow...quite a haul to Hinckley.

madcap- there are a few isolated pairs of trumpeters that breed around here and even spend the winter in some spots. The Tundra swans I guess breed a lot further north, and when they come through here it means migration is almost over and the lakes are on the verge of freezing.

Quit sending us your cold Canadian air!

FC- It went well. Swans calls, wolves howling...think tingles up your spine. That's what they do, better than a new fridge.

Deb said...

and of course I forgot dharma bum. Midle age brain sucks.

db I used to see them a lot in the spring at Carlos Avery just east of Stacy. But it's a big matter of chance when you'll see them flying south.

And Trampled by Turtles! Love them! They are every bit as good as Yonder Mountain String Band, which I also discovered recently. It's kinda Grateful Dead meets Newgrass string band jam grass music.

the dharma bum said...

**sniff sniff** It's not fun being forgotten.


I've been wanting to check out Carlos Avery sometime... Seems like it'd be a good place to just stomp around.

The 'Turtles are such a fun band, and I think it's because they got started by just playing and having fun in some basement in a house in Duluth, then playing parties... then touring around the country!

Make sure you go see them sometime!