Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nature's Way

There are times when life presents you with the unexpected. I went to see the swans again today. Mama was sitting on her nest, a little disturbed though I didn't realize this was the case until later.

I was distracted by a couple of fish that I had not seen at any other visit. They were quarreling and I was trying to get a picture. 

Suddenly, I heard the woman standing near me say, "She's got an egg!" I looked up and there was mama swan, egg-in-mouth. Of course, distress is spreading among we few onlookers. I, unfortunately, had set my camera lens to photo the fish, resulting in much fumbling on my part to get a picture. What you see here is the egg in the water to the left of mama, after she had dunked and apparently cracked it open.
She proceeded to eat the remains (sorry if this is offensive; it's what happened).
Then she went to the nest and took out pieces of grass and ate those too.
This happened repeatedly.
Papa showed up, I'm sure sensing her distress.
They cleaned up the water, gulping whatever they could find where the egg had been dropped.
It was sad to watch, but nature's way--survival of the fittest.
At one point mama looked as if to cry...
Papa stayed with her for a while,
making sure she could settle down,
which she did,
but only for a while. The 'cleaning of the nest' process lasted for some time.
But she did finally relax.
It appears the rest of the eggs are in good shape, and mama and papa got back to the business of hibernating and nest reinforcement.

I watched much of this with tears brimming, sad for the loss but in awe. It's not often that one gets to watch nature doing its thing; I'm glad I was there.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,


Linda said...

What a fascinating post, Lise, and I really appreciate you sharing this. Perhaps the mother gobbled the eggs because she sensed that something was wrong with them....or that they would be in some kind of danger when they hatched.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Thank God there are some eggs left .

Lindah said...

Do you suppose it was necessary to clean up the broken egg from the water lest it attract unwanted attention from predators? I wonder why it was in the water to begin with --maybe accidentally dropped? Interesting. I'm not at all familiar with swans. The wild ducks are trying very hard to make a nest near our pool. We keep shooing them away. They have eaten all the water plants from our fish pond. sigh The nearby creek is much better suited to their needs, I'm sure.

Dad/Pepere said...

Amazing photos of the animal kingdom's life cycle. Thanks and hugs.

NCmountainwoman said...

It's always thrilling although sometimes distressing to see Nature at work. I always wonder about all those things we never see.

Vicki Lane said...

Beautiful pics! Probably she knew the egg wasn't going to hatch and ate it rather than toss it out where it could attract predators.

Lise said...

I agree Linda, had to be nature taking care of itself.

True Patti, I wish I was there to see them hatch. I should be back in a few weeks and will go check things out.

Lindah, I do believe it was all on purpose. And yes, cleaning things up to prevent predators is likely.

Thanks dad, hugs back!

I agree NCmountainwoman. I enjoy our critter cam for exactly that reason; we get photos of things we would never see otherwise!

Thanks Vicki. Nature knows what its doing!