Sunday, March 11, 2007

Swan Lake

In other cities, cemeteries may just be a place to go after a funeral. In Louisville, Cave Hill Cemetery is a historical landmark and landscaping marvel. To Louisvillians, Cave Hill is treated more like a park than a place of death and despair. Tours are given to both gardeners and history buffs. Many prominent people in the development of our city are buried there, although I must admit I never heard of some of them, even though their contribution was important. When our children were small, we made regular family outings to Cave Hill, carrying a bag of bread to feed the ducks and geese on the lake. The kids didn't care about famous dead people, just the geese. They remember with trembling the time they were chased by a gander protecting his nest.
A few weeks ago, the local newspaper ran a short article and picture of some swans that live at Cave Hill, but moved over to a lake on a nearby golf course, and I thought a nice sunny Daylight Savings Time afternoon could be well spent at Cave Hill. The geese were noisy, as always. If someone offered them bread, they would turn their backs and swim away. If the offer went to the Mallards, the geese would descend with even louder cries as they chased away the smaller competition for soggy slices of bread. When they hissed, we politely moved to the other side of the road, having learned our lesson when the kids were little.
There were two swans on the main lake and three others on a smaller, more private pond across the road. These three were preening and getting all cleaned up, sticking their heads in the water, scratching an itch, and making sure all their feathers were property oiled and in position. A quick flap or two of the wings insured that every feather was in order.
Mourning Doves are common in this area, and I always appreciate how they always stay close to their mates. Mourning Doves are particularly appropriate birds to find at Cave Hill Cemetery, and two posed nicely this afternoon. It's great to find some nice birding close to home.

No comments: