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A lamentation of swans flew overhead this afternoon. They were heading southerly which seems strange to me, being so late, but a lot of the big migrations here seem to be always heading in the wrong directions. Last fall, all the birds were flying north and I stood in the driveway and waved my arms at them and shouted "Wrong way! Wrong way!" but they didn't listen. The swans flew low and fast over the house, honking in a mournful way. In fact, at first I thought they were geese, they were so big and loud. I could hear the windbeats of their wings as they passed, thwhum thwhumming.

They're not as beautiful when they fly as when they float. They look big and clumsy and they make astonishing noises. Even though they are called Mute Swans, they are far from silent, and it sounds as though they are calling directions or encouragement to the other members of the wedge as they constantly adjust their course.

There were more than 11 of them, and I saw no girl looking for nettles, so I assume that they were not the enchanted brothers that Hans Christian Andersen wrote about. Pity, that. Although, I always felt sorry for the brother who was left with 1 swan's wing at the end of the story.

There's always been a fascination for me in the collective nouns for different animals. Most people have heard of a pride of lions, an exaltation of larks and a murder of crows. More cool ones: a culture of baboons, a bloat of hippos, a tower of giraffes. A smack of jellyfish. A rhumba of rattlesnakes. A leap of lizards. :D I wonder if one can get a linguistics job thinking these up? Wouldn't that be great?! Maybe they're all taken, though. That would be sad: nothing left to name. That would give the swans and me something to lament.

mood: peaceful
music: Norah Jones—What Am I to You?


Lovely swan tile. I adore swans, used to collect them before I moved to Sweden and couldn't see packing up all that glass and porcelain, alas.


I don't collect them but we have two gorgeous Lladro swans that adorned our wedding cake. :)


Lladro on a cake, now that's style

Wow- what great imagery! Thanks for sharing.

First, the pie thing was so silly, I couldn't stop smiling and I couldn't turn it off, although I thought I should. Second, if you think swans are noisy you should have 3 Sandhill cranes fly over your house. If Philip Glass could be a bird, he would be a Sandhill crane. They sound like people on crack driving cars and honking their horns. Third, my 17 year old self would be wondering why I hadn't won an Oscar yet. But happy that I was with a woman, an actual lesbian no less, for ten years and that I lived in a house in a warm climate. Lastly, she would advise me to go ahead and buy that motorcycle.

Speaking of naming things, did we ever decide on a good word for "gay partner"? And do you know the word gylany?


gaytner? hee hee. I know cranes are noisy, we get them occasionally too. Geese are SUPER noisy, you can hear them from INSIDE the house. I tried looking up gylany in a couple of dictionaries with no luck, what is it?


I like gaytner, I am going to try that. Glyany is a word used by the author of The Chalice and the Blade. I think I have a copy of it somewhere, it sort of means all about women, actually I can't remember but I named a cd that. I'll have to find the book. And you also can hear the Sandhill Cranes from inside, they are unlike any cranes you have ever seen, they are almost as big as an emu, or at least as tall. They are an endangered species here in Florida. I think this requires a government funded study to find out which is noisier, swans in Sweden or Sandhill Cranes in Florida.


I had that book for awhile and tried to read it several times and just could not get into it.

Have you ever read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier? It's a great novelization of the story you're talking about. Beautiful imagery, as usual, btw :-)


It's on my books to buy list, actually :) :)

What a lovely post! Makes me want spring to come so that we can go to the park to see the swans in all their glory! For more fun, here is a great link for the names of animal groups: Animal Collectives


what fun! thanks for the link. This is the one I was using: I like it because she has it available in PDF format too. :)

A lamentation of swans? That's good to know. I wonder if there's a term of venery that uses 'retribution'? Maybe a retribution of badgers. No, no, no... I don't even have time to mentally go down this road. :)


*lol* It's a CETE or COLONY of badgers, although I've seen SET used as well.

There are also an implausibility of gnus, and a sneak of weasels. :)

Sadly, I couldn't find a Retribution of anything, but I bet you could make one up. How about a retribution of badger animations?!


Even though I didn't have the time, I went down that road anyway, right after I wrote that comment. The fruit of that was in my latest entry.

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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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