Oodles of Trumpeter Swans have spent weeks cruising around the ponds along Highway 20 in Sutter and Yuba Counties in the Sacramento River Valley. My husband Sam and I have enjoyed watching them as we drive between our home in Mendocino County and the cabin we rent in Nevada County, where he works. They peaked in numbers between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Several series of storms passed through the area during that time, and the snow-white birds were looking pretty grubby from feeding in the murky water, but their gleaming majesty was still evident.
On our way back up to the Sierra Nevada foothills yesterday afternoon after two weeks spent near the coast, the light was fading but I was impatient to pull over for a photo shoot. Where were the swans? Most of them had flown the coop.
Perhaps the food supply had dwindled to the point that it was time to go shopping again. The crowds of birds had vanished, but there were still a few groups of hangers-on, so I pulled out my camera and took my best shots. The light was muted by passing clouds, but the poses of these graceful avians were reflected in the glass-like water.