A beautiful trio of young Mute Swans spent the day at Niles Pond foraging on pond vegetation and enjoying fresh water. When the fresh water ponds thaw, we see our local swans take a break from their salty harbor refuges. The Three Graces spent the entire day eating nearly nonstop, which suggests they are very hungry.
I believe the three young swans are not quite one year old. Their bills are pale, and brown first-molt feathers mix with incoming white feathers. It’s their first winter so if you see the young swans, please be kind.
Mr. Swan, too, has been enjoying the fresh water at Henry’s Pond. He’s so territorial that I hope he stays over in Rockport for a bit so the Three Graces can fortify at Niles.
My fingers froze and I had to call it quits yet despite the bitterly cold five degree temperature and biting wind, day break brought blue skies and beautiful sea smoke all along the backshore, from Gloucester’s Ten Pound Island Lighthouse to Rockport’s Twin Lighthouses.
Take heart friends -today is the last day of January- only 48 more days until the spring equinox!
The beautiful wooden ice sail boats that Andy Lee is generously sharing with the neighborhood kids are his family’s boats. Andy grew up ice sailing on Chebacco Lake with his Dad.
Michelle Barton pointed out that there aren’t too many places in the area where the ice and wind are just right for ice sailing, and Niles Pond happens to be one of those unique places. Andy shares they were sailing at 40mph today!
Andy Lee (from Lee Tree) and Geoff are restoring the ice boats at Geoff’s woodworking studio and I think they are planning to build more!
I took Charlotte out Friday at dusk to look for the moon and we found it at Niles Pond, along with hockey players and ice sailors. We can thank her favorite storybook Goodnight Moon for her lunar passion.
If I have been slow to respond to emails, comments, facebook messages, photo requests, I sincerely apologize. It is because I am in the home stretch of getting all my clients decorated for the holidays and their gardens ready for winter. Beginning this coming Monday, knock wood, I can turn all my attention to films, friends, photos, programs, and book projects. See you soon 🙂
A few more snapshots from November’s full Frost Moon rising over Niles Pond
If you click on the photo to embiggen, you can see craters in the moon’s surface, especially on the left side .
November’s nearly full Frost Moon was rising over Brace Cove, while the sun was setting over the harbor. Violet sunset clouds swirled around the rising moon when moments later the moon shone brightly through the pine trees. November’s full moon is also called the Beaver Moon-both the early colonists and Algonquin tribes named it so because November was the designated time of year to set Beaver traps before ponds and swamps froze.
November Frost Moon rising over Niles Pond
Harbor Seals in the setting sun and rising moonlight–a seal-a-rock 🙂