My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

The swan ballet

People have long associated swans with beauty, grace, and the very idea of a faithful love. For one thing, swans mate for life, and the male swan, or cob, defends his mate, or pen, sometimes to his death. The courting rituals of swans are one of the most beautiful things I, or most people, have ever witnessed. Is it any wonder that Tchaikovsky composed a ballet that incorporated those ideals and named it swan lake? Is it any wonder that we humans have adopted the shape of the necks of swans in love, ♥, to represent our own hearts and love?

So here’s a photo series I was lucky enough to witness a few days ago. It starts with the two swans coming together for some gentle nuzzling.

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Then the male began to mimic everything that the female did.

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Then, it was back to more nuzzling, and even a little playful splashing.

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Then the ballet begins

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

Mute swans courting

I wish that I was a better writer and could put words worthy enough to go along with the photos, but I think the photos do a pretty good job of portraying the obvious affection these swans have for each other. I think that any one who doesn’t believe that animals have or display emotions would change their minds if they were to see this in person.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

Advertisements

23 responses

  1. Absolutely stunning action shots, I love them! The close-up ‘heart-shape’ shot is a beauty. Thanks for sharing, this is my first glimpse at mute swans courting; and there was no need for words, your photos told the story of their love. Just awesome! Isn’t it great to be at the right place at the right time!! 🙂

    March 16, 2012 at 10:49 am

    • Thank you! You know, I never thought of them as action shots, not even while I was shooting them. It really was all about the mood of the swans and trying to capture the best expressions of affection they were showing one another.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

  2. Wow….simply beautiful !!! I recently caught a shot too 🙂

    March 16, 2012 at 11:23 am

    • Thank you, and thanks for following my blog. I hope that you won’t be disappointed.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

  3. I echo everything that Donna said. Simply superb shots of the graceful Mute Swans. No more words were necessary. Well done, Jerry.

    March 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    • Thanks Bob!

      March 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    • Thanks Bob!

      March 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

  4. Northern Narratives

    Wow, beautiful !!!

    March 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    • Thank you! I was just there, the swans provided the rest.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

  5. I love it when you can shoot pictures that tell a story, and these sure do that.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    • Thank you, I try.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

  6. It’s OK to let the swans do the talking. Nice captures.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    • Thank you, but they’re mute swans, they don’t say much. 😉

      March 17, 2012 at 3:54 am

  7. Looks like they loved posing for you!!! Wonderful!

    March 17, 2012 at 1:35 am

    • Thank you Cee, the swans were in their own little world at that time, they paid no attention to me at all.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:56 am

  8. How very wonderful… 🙂

    March 17, 2012 at 6:14 am

    • Thank you very much!

      March 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

  9. plantsamazeme

    I wanted to comment yesterday by didn’t know what to say…That was a great post in so many ways. I agree with Donna, she said it all. Wow what a neat experience. The photos were perfect, I’d say award winning. If only I had an award… 🙂

    March 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

    • Thank you! I was at a loss for words when I read your tribute to Tilly, your dog, sorry if I got the name wrong. That was one of the most moving things I have ever read.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

      • plantsamazeme

        Thanks, I had to pull that Tilly post from the blog, people were calling me up and crying about it. Maybe it was a bit too personal. Your posts are more like a story, interesting to read. I think I’ll stick with pictures and not so many words. 🙂

        March 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      • I can understand why you pulled that post, but it was some of the best writing that I have ever read

        March 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

  10. Pingback: My Week…Instant Summer « Quietsolopursuits's Blog

  11. Nice capture of swans courting — I especially like the heart shape they formed when looking at each other. Woodcocks are courting, too. See my blog for a picture of these interesting creatures.

    Look forward to more of your photos!

    March 27, 2012 at 10:52 am