Olivia and I went on a nature walk on Sunday morning to see a flock of trumpeter swans that were resting in a neighbor's soybean field. It was still early in the morning - before 8:00 a.m.
Once we were closer, the swans were a bit more alert, but didn't seem concerned by us watching them.
As we were watching them, we heard a trumpeting sound in the distance. The swans on the ground began trumpeting loudly. In a matter of minutes, a swan appeared overhead.
The swans kept trumpeting, encouraging it to join the flock. The swan circled overhead, and then landed. You can see it land in the picture above (on the right hand side).
As we looked at the swans, we noticed that one was a shade of gray. It's a juvenile trumpeter swan. It's the same size as an adult, but the plumage is gray. It also has a pinkish gray bill versus a black bill (it will change from gray to black as it becomes an adult).
Eventually, it was time for the trumpeter swans to leave. They all stood up (they can reach 60 inches tall) and spread their wings (they can get up to 6 1/2 feet wide). They flew south a bit as they took off, and then turned to the northwest and flew away.
Truly, it was one of the more memorable mornings. This was the second time in my life that I have seen trumpeter swans. However, this was the first time that I was able to see them so closely and for a prolonged period of time.
Olivia and I enjoyed being out in the quiet, open field. We walked over to where the trumpeter swans were after they flew off and found some feathers. Not large ones - just the small, downy feathers.
As we walked back home, we spotted many deer tracks.
We also saw some dog or coyote tracks. Not sure which one.
Eventually, we made it to the back part of the farm. The picture above is a view looking north. The red barn with white roof in the distance is the barn in the backyard. It seemed like a long walk back to Olivia.
Once we got through this pond/swampy area, it was an easier walk. We enjoyed seeing where deer had visited the farm - where they sleep or rest in the pressed-down grassy areas.
It was a wonderful way to start the morning...and one we will certainly remember for years to come.