The weather was perfect to take a short trip to see the much talked about swans.
Nobody can fully explain why these birds took a liking to this one small oxbow lake a few miles east of Heber Springs, Arkansas.
With just one look, I could see what all of the publicity was about....
The swans were so graceful as they glided across the lake. Each one had small variances of color. They get whiter with age. The sun shining on them was breathtaking.
The lake was covered with swans, ducks and a few geese. A couple standing beside me said they had counted up to 200 on the water.
Normally, these guys live in the Midwest, Alaska and even Wyoming, but never as far South as Arkansas. For some reason, this certain group has chosen Heber Springs and returns there every year.
The phenomenon started when 3 swans showed up on the lake in the winter of 1991. The following winter a Minnesota swan that had been banded visited the lake with her mate. In 1993, that same swan was spotted with her mate and three baby swans. It's believed the original 3 got knocked off course by a storm. They must have liked what they found, because they came again...and brought their friends and family. I think the word spread far and wide that an automatic feeder with shelled corn was waiting for their arrival.
I loved watching them turn upside down to feed off the bottom....little feet just paddling away.
The long neck was perfect to reach in the hollow tree, looking for corn that got away.
They are the largest waterfowl in North America, weighing 25 to 30 pounds. Wing span is about 8 feet.....
This one looks just like a planter that my mother had. The top of the swans back was hollow and she always had a green plant in it. I wish I had that planter......