Sunday, May 07, 2006


The morning issued an invitation to come out of doors and explore. The early breezes carried to us the fragrances of spring encouraging us to come out from under the barricade of our house and explore nature… The overcast sky made it a perfect time for meandering the roads and trails around Bashakill Marsh
The day offered new trails to explore. Rambles through canopied pathways, the new leaves creating a haze of gold and green lace draping over our heads.
The old favorite haunts were filled with marsh plants unfolding bright new leaves in the filtered sunlight. Through the marsh grasses and reeds red-winged black birds’ songs echo as they call to one another.
In the distance we see the pair of Mute Swans that have chosen to make their summer home in the marsh. We admire their beauty and poise as they sit majestically on the water and then in turn we fret and grumble because it seems at least one of them always has its head in the water, thwarting our most persistent efforts to get a picture of them posed together. They feed on submerged aquatic vegetation, reached with their long necks.

Toward the middle of the ponds we can see Canada Geese nesting in grassy hillocks. As we wander along the edges of the marsh there is a continual splat, splat, ker-splat as frogs leap from their places in the sun to hide out under lily pads.

Further out the Mute Swans’ nests are situated on large mounds of sticks, twigs and grasses that they build in the middle of this shallow lake-like marsh.
Our attention is suddenly drawn to a deep, loudly resonating, slow and rhythmic “whump, whump, whump …” as the swans abruptly take to the air and begin circling over the marsh like a pair of air show pilots navigating their planes in close formation over the valley. Again and again they circle around, passing overhead with the awesome, “whump, whump, whump” of their powerful wing beats. From a distance the wing-beats make musical throbbing or humming sound which can be heard from a long way off. As they circle directly overhead the sound is closer to that of a helicopter.

What grace and beauty ---

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!
---Edna St. Vincent Millay


Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

Oh, what an amazing day you had. Your poetic words led me through this beautiful marsh, seeing the colours, hearing the sounds. Your patience was rewarded - the photo of the mute swans on the water is a classic one of partnership. How wonderful to get the aerial shot - I thought of an airshow, too, as I first glanced at it and then read your words :) Your wonderful photography and a fine poem complete this delightful post. Thank you for taking us along.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Pris said...

This is just beautiful, especially the mute swans.

3:58 PM  
Blogger kerrdelune said...

What a sumptuous place to be at this time of the year, the wide Bashakill marshes, the winding trails, the lacy foliage, the swans and your perfect photos and eloquent descriptions - I felt as though I was there too. Thank you!

5:25 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

So beautiful. Amazing photos. You have inspired me to get my camera out and attempt some bird pics again. I know the perfect place...

6:47 PM  
Blogger threecollie said...

Thanks for stopping by today. I am so glad I came here to read your wonderful writing and see your pictures. The bear story is pretty scary to me. So far they are very uncommon here where we live (and I hope they stay that way), but the Adirondacks and Catskills are very close. Too close.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Beautiful....I'm glad u had a great time. The swans are very nice.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Home Bird said...

Glorious place, glorious photos! You even outstriped my expectations, which were very high.

9:57 PM  
Blogger lené said...

I want to echo Pam's comments:Oh, what an amazing day you had. Your poetic words led me through this beautiful marsh, seeing the colours, hearing the sounds.

Your spring colors are gorgeous. One day maybe I'll see a swan. :)

10:02 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

glorious! The sounds could be heard, the call of nature: peaceful wildness from your images! Those swans! You have such a calm manner to be able to capture such stillness, such beauty, to be able to take a photo of show stillness yet the power of nature...stunning!! Thank you for sharing it with us!

1:39 AM  
Blogger Ontario Wanderer said...

Thank you for sharing the great photos of your wonder full day!

6:00 AM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Beuatiful post, beautiful words, beautiful photos - just beautiful! Thank you!

6:52 AM  
Blogger luciole said...

Pretty place. Full of life. I seem to be able to hear those birds cry. I would love to roam around there with my camera.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Your words and images were so very beautiful to me...Plus, I love Edna St. Vincent Millay. "House without air, I leave you and lock your door." I think she's on to something--and the afternoon is beckoning me out away from this desk!

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what an incredable day. So peaceful and the pictures you took are stunning. I love the "couple" swans.
Beautiful as always.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

Oh, oh, oh....the swans! I am so envious! They are majestic and graceful and so romantic. Where were you when you took the photo of them in flight? Pretty amazing to be above them!

Your blog is just lovely, and each time I come to visit I am reminded of the wonderful infusion it provides me.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

pam in tucson
I am glad you enjoyed coming along. The weather was perfuct - now I want a longer lens :=)

thanks so much

It is wonderful - perhaps not as nice as where you take your rambles
I suspect most places are wonderful as the fresh leaves unfold

oh good - I will be watching for your photos

These bears are getting to be a bit much... we are right at the southern edge of the catskills

so glad you had a good time :=)

home bird
the right place the right time :=)

Get up real early and you can come see a swan. :=)
I hope you see a swan soon - so far, there have been swans in most of the areas where I have lived.

tongue in cheek antiques
Aren't the swans wonderful --- I hope to find a way to get closer to them in the not too distant future.

ontario wanderer and chief biscuit
so glad you stopped by

It is beautiful - takes one's breath away --- I can simply sit in one place and watch things happen.

c. delia
hope you had a wonderful adventure out in the outside air :=)

I really was trying to get them side by side but they prefer togetherness :=)

I am glad you came by
The swans circled us a number of times -- at times they were directly overhead (in the sun of course) They just moved out onto the marsh and were nearly even with us against the trees.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

The red-winged blackbird is one of my favorite birds and one I sub-consciously wait for each year. I'm going merrily along my way and I stop at the sound...the call of the red-winged blackbird... ah, yes, I think. Now I know what I have been waiting for.

Wonderful pictures and words, Endment. I especially love the two swans in their perfect pose.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

I am so glad you came by.
The marsh is filled with the melody of the red-winged blackbirds. I love having them visit here at the house also.

7:19 AM  

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