Monday, November 27, 2006

U Turn Queen

That's me. I used to get really upset at myself when I got lost and had to make U turns, but then at some point, I accepted my lack of geographic sense and decided not to get upset at having to hang u-ies, and travel got a lot less stressful.

The visit's been going far better than I anticipated, and I'm thankful!

My Mom and I took a couple day trips over the weekend, visiting a geological park focused on the glaciation of the upper midwest. It was fascinating, AND I got to hold a Fox Snake, which is a species of local snake. I haven't held a snake since I was a little kid, and I forgot how wonderful the snake's muscles feel against my hands and arms as it moves over them. I was totally fascinated.

Then we got lost in two states, and ended up on a dirt road near some wildlife reserve, and with total luck I saw my first ever wild swans. Looking in my book, I was pretty much convinced that they were Whistling (aka Tundra) Swans, which are the most common swans around here. But looking now, and listening to some recordings, I think we may have seen some Trumpeter Swans.

They were in a reserve, banded with broad yellow bands around their necks. There was a small group of four swans in a wetlands area, the two all-white adults banded, and the two darker sub-adults (I think) not banded. And then a group of three all white swans flew over and landed on the far side of a small islet, and then another group of swans flew by. So it's possible there were two different species, even.

There's evidently a project in the area to help Trumpeter Swans.

On the other hand, Trumpeters are REALLY rare compared to Tundra Swans.

I'll have to recheck my books again, and look up the specific reserve to see if there's a project there.

At any rate, it was pretty darned exciting, and it wouldn't have happened except that we got nice and lost.

1 comment:

  1. Trumpeter swans!
    Did you ever read E.B.White's "The Trumpet of the Swan"?
    That's super extra cool if it really was trumpeters!