March 13, 2021

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Hearing the conversational honking chatter before dawn on the river this morning, I did my best to put the sneak on carrying my usual 20 lbs of image-making equipage, which, as it turns out, was impossible as the rain we had the other day has left a noisy crust of snow that only a snowshoe hare that hasn’t eaten since October could possibly amble on in silence. As skilled as I have become over the years ambushing all sorts of wild things, on this unforgiving morning I possessed the stealth of mufflerless dump truck. The chatter turned quickly to alarmed trumpets, horns going off like a downtown traffic jam, and then quickly the sound of flapping wings and feet running on water. I arrived to see seven swans take flight, who predictably circled out over the lake and came back right at me (as they always do) to check out the noisemaker with three perfectly choreographed high-speed flyovers before landing again to continue their morning chatter, dunking and stretching.