I needed peace.
I needed quiet.
I needed to be by myself.
So, I headed to my favorite place where I knew I could be alone. It's a beautiful park that for some reason very few people use and that's all right with me. It's like my own secret garden. The day I was there I saw two ladies walking their dogs, a mother pushing her baby in a stroller, and one gentleman using the trails for exercise.
I always head along the lake to the gazebo where I can sit quietly. There's a little story about the gazebo. Mrs. Gertrude Remmel Butler wanted a gazebo near the edge of Swan Lake. She recruited the help of a well known landscape gardener to design and build the structure. When she saw the completed work for the first time, she was heard to say "This doesn't look like a gazebo. It looks like a boat dock!" And it does. There are steps on two sides that lead right down to the water. I like to sit on the steps and imagine Victorian ladies all dressed in beautiful spring dresses, floppy hats, and matching parasols stepping from the gazebo into a rowboat with a handsomely dressed gentleman.
Sometimes I bring my lunch, sometimes a book, and always my camera. This day I sat on the steps of the gazebo and read. I was pretty absorbed in the book when I heard this "whooshing" noise. I looked up and from the other side of the lake I saw Alexander, one of the resident swans, swimming toward me at full speed. His feathers curved over his back and his neck curled back. I know swans can be aggressive, so I'm always careful around them, but honestly I was only sitting near the water reading. I don't know why he thought I was a threat, but he did. Totally clueless of his defensive form, I just sat there watching him quickly close the distance between us and snapping pictures.
When I finally realized he was coming after me he was right in front of me flapping his gigantic wings. You will never believe how fast I can scoot up steps backwards! I quickly looked around for higher ground, but thankfully he didn't try to join me in the gazebo! The picture below was snapped as I scooted up the steps. He was definitely not happy with me. Look at those waves! He was moving fast!
He swam back and forth along the gazebo edge like he was guarding his lake. Alexander is beautiful, but he's just a little overprotective! You can see the steps in the picture below. The bottom step, which is now wet, is where my feet were.
After I realized he had no intentions of joining me in the gazebo I took advantage of his closeness and took a lot of pictures. I was even able to capture him in my crystal ball.
Finally, he became bored and swam away. While I enjoyed taking pictures and seeing him so close, I felt trapped in the gazebo. I wasn't about to leave my safe spot.
Before he left, we had quite the conversation. I tried to explain that I knew he loved his lady, Bella, and wanted to protect her, but that I was in no way a threat to them. I don't think it worked. He just kept giving me the evil eye!
He swam slowly back across the lake to Bella. I think he might have been wanting her to acknowledge that he was her hero!
Ah, young spring love!
"In springtime, love is carried on the breeze.
Watch out for flying passion
and kisses whizzing by your head."
~ Emma Racine Defleur
(Words in parenthesis are mine!)
If you'd like to read more about why I was at the lake and see some different pictures, drop by the Focusing On Life blog where I'm posting today.