Cancer surgeries and the lousy weather have curtailed outdoor activities for me this winter. What little time I am outdoors is usually either shoveling or quick jogs to get the mail, take out the trash or shake out my rugs and linens.
It was the latter activity that had me out on the deck overlooking the pond on Sunday after dinner. I was grumbling. I had spent the better part of the day in the kitchen, cooking and then cleaning, while my family enjoyed their Sabbath rest. As I stepped outside, the wind was brisk and the air was pregnant with the promise of at least one more Monday morning snowstorm. Sighing, I lowered my head and kicked at the ice on the deck. (Didn’t I just chop that all away a few days ago?) Spring was a long time away.
I heard them before I saw them. “Honk! Honk!” and the rush of wings on the wind. They cast a shadow across the deck as they came in low; maybe checking the pond behind our house for a landing spot? Muttering “Crazy geese, your nesting spots are still all frozen,” I looked skyward.
A long, black beak, beautiful white body; the incomparable nasal horn-like call. They weren’t Canada geese at all, but a trio of stunningly beautiful trumpeter swans. Their cries echoed across the frozen water as they rose above the trees and turned to the northwest, into the wind and the approaching late winter storm.