Madeline and Shaye both told me about the waterfowl that frequents the Irondequoit Bay/Lake Ontario area. Ever since I emailed Shaye and she sent me some photos the other day, I have been *dreaming* of making this journey. Shaye had told me that the swans were eating bread right from the hand of her husband. This, you must understand, just got those little gears working in my mind…(see previous post)
The other day, I ventured forth to Country Max and purchased two 10 pound bags of cracked corn for the appointed day. Every time I looked into the back of the truck and saw the bags, my mind would once again wander into a dreamlike state….
Mark’s mom had a doctor’s appointment this morning and she lives only a short distance from “the magical” place! As we drove to Rochester, my mind was filled with imaginings, unleashed! Oh, to feed a swan from my hand….it sounds too surreal….such happenings are reserved for Heaven, I thought to myself as I tried to calm down!
Mark’s mom went in for her doctor’s appointment, and we drove over to Wendy’s so the troops could refresh themselves. My stomach had been a tad off yesterday, so I passed, but then decided on a tiny Frosty, which felt so good and hit the spot. We waited and waited for the call that my mother-in-law was done. It seemed the time stood still, and then, the phone rang!
My mother-in-law has a cold that she says is breaking up now, so when Mark inquired if she might be interested in seeing the “birds”, I hoped she would say “yes”. She did, and off we went.
The temperature dropped throughout the day, and by the time we reached our destination, it was cold, but the wind was downright brutal. Mark parked on a boat launch where all the birds were in clear view. I think I veritably flew from the truck, excited beyond belief that I was getting this close to the birds. Ben and I carefully opened one of the bags of corn and I filled a little cup.
As I walked toward the group of swans, geese, and ducks, I truly expected them to recoil and head for the open waters. Not so!
I held my hand out so they could see that I came bearing food. They were almost as excited as I!
This group was amazing. I didn’t count the swans, but there must have been more than a dozen. There weren’t really that many geese, but the Mallards? There must have been over 50 Mallards! The birds didn’t fight or carry on as I dropped some of the corn near the water. The ducks ate, the geese ate, and the swans ate. All peaceably.
The trickiest part of this whole exercise was trying to feed the birds AND photograph them at the same time. Needless to say, it was downright impossible! One of the swans was so comfortable in my presence that it plopped right down on the launch within inches of my feet!
As I held the corn out in my hand, the swans would gobble at my fingers! I would then allow some of the corn to slide down my hand and into their mouths. Having owned geese in the past, I am familiar with getting “goosed”. That is one of the most pinchingly painful injuries I can think of. The swans, on the other hand, would actually grab at my fingers, but would gently let loose instead of clamping down!
Michelle picked up the little Panasonic camera and took pictures of my encounters…(and look how BIG those swans are!!!)
One startling “eureka” for me was the bright coloration of the Mallards. Not only are the males strikingly beautiful, but I have never seen the females looking so pretty! They were also colorful! Breeding season cannot be far off, I am sure!
The gradiant sizes of the birds is very evident when they are all within inches of each other!
Here you can see one of the swans eating directly from my hand. I must interject at this point that my fingers were actually burning. The wind was tormentuous as it lashed wildly about. Since there is nothing to impede the gusts”, it was brutal. And miserable.
With many pounds of cracked corn still available, we purposed to go back again when the weather is just a bit milder!
In the meantime, Michelle got the cutest photo today……
Like I said…..magical……totally magical!