It’s three weeks ago that we had Mum’s funeral, five weeks and a day since we lost her.
Hubby and I had a field trip in a different direction this morning, and there were memory triggers of her everywhere.
From clumps of spring daffodils beginning to show their heads on the roadside to rabbits (oh the stories of her and rabbits, both wild and concrete!), beech nut trees and swans in the fields.
Lincolnshire is full of drainage ditches for farm irrigation, so it’s no surprise that swans nest on them and bring up their families in the fields running alongside.
When we were here before, we watched a newly mated pair gallantly try to save their clutch from rising water over the course of a week but to no avail, so the nest, and the five eggs therein, was abandoned.
Photo: Nesting Swans (and the lost nest) May 2014 before we moved out of the cottage.
Dad’s funeral in May 1996 was the day before Mum’s birthday, so I took an extra day as personal leave and took her to the Abbotsbury Swannery. The family had clubbed together for Mum to adopt a swan, which she called Henry after my Dad.
Sadly Henry disappeared without trace after a year (had he done so before, Mum would have had a replacement) so it was never known if he found a mate and brought up a family of his own elsewhere.
To compensate to a degree knowing how disappointed Mum was, I took to sending her updates on our local swans, with pictures if I had some.
Of course getting the boat, we could see them close up, and although we never fed them, they were regular visitors to our basin with their babies, so we could watch them grow up.
Photo: adult and five survivors from an original clutch of 7 August 2016
Photo: moving away, you can just see our hull bottom left.
Photo: four of the cygnets, February 2017 (the other was asleep just out of camera range)
When I went to NZ in 2010, it is rare to see a white swan. We had black swans in Poole Park, but they were very few and far between. Mum was fascinated that I was surrounded by so many in one place. We did a calendar for her for 2011 with photographs from my trip and these were in it.
Photo: Napier black swans : New Zealand trip 2010
Now, whenever I see swans, in the fields as we did today or anywhere else, I shall think of Mum, united with her own Henry and hopefully surrounded by swans and everything else in Nature they loved.
I didn’t know there were black swans in NZ as well as Australia. I took a picture of a black swan at Chirstchurch (UK ) Harbour yesterday!
Wow! Was this close to the Priory or on the river? We had two in Poole and I only saw them twice. Annie took me to this park in Napier and there were black swans everywhere! I was fascinated, and was able to get so close as they were used to people and didn’t think their young were under threat. The white swans in the marina when we were on the boat came to you on their terms, and if you got too close, they warned you off with a hissy fit!!
On the river, at The Quomps. Strangely, back in August, we were walking with my Australian niece-in-law ( first ever visit to England ) down to the river at Xchurch and immediately saw a pair of black swans, how did they know an Aussi was coming. I have never see them again till the lonely one yesterday.
I understand swans usually mate for life, so I hope this was a new adult and not one half of a pair. I’ve only ever seen white ones apart from that time in Poole (my home town). There were several large cygnets in the fields today, so last year’s brood. Once they get to about a year old, apparently the adults push them out to fend for themselves.
Thanks Joy. Mum would have loved seeing them all today.
I LOVE swans! Spring in Lincolnshire sounds beautiful.
So do I and we had our fair share on the marina and on our travels up river. It will be interesting to see if we can follow some of the adults and their families locally, though now local is about 5 miles away.
When we lived aboard we met a couple swans – they were near the Chesapeake. Mainly we met ducks and the occasional goose, but we were primarily blue water – I think swans are predominately in fresh water.
I believe so.
There will be memories and reminders around every corner, but most will be pleasant. 🙂
I have so many happy times that are foremost in my mind. I wake up in the morning and think of Mum, but each day she is younger in my mind. I see that as a happy thing and feel glad for it.
That’s lovely 🙂