Swans

Over the weekend, I biked out past Watertown into the Charles River Reservation. A nice ride, though I was heavy disappointed that the river trails end so close to the city. I saw tons of Canada geese, and a few much larger white birds with black bills. The only word I could come up with for them was “swan”, but I thought we didn’t have those in America.

Turns out we do! Based on a couple minutes’ desultory internet research, I believe that what I saw were Mute Swans, cygnus olor. I take the Latin to mean “swanny swan”. They’re originally Eurasian, but since they’re sightly they get imported places to purty up ponds and such. The Swan Boats at Boston Common look to be modeled after cygnus olor.

I don’t know how or when I started thinking such a crazy thing as “ain’t no swans in America”. I’ve seen these birds all my life, and no doubt called them swans.

They are beautiful. I recall reading someone in Spanish class, some exponent of naturalism or some shit (not a naturalist!), suggesting that one “tuerce el cuello al cisne”. I wouldn’t like to do that. I’ll torque your collar, sissy!

38 Responses to “Swans”

  1. Erica Says:

    During the warmer months, I eat my lunch at the park on Soldiers Field Road because it is right near where I work. Sometimes I sit by the river and chill with the geese…however, they are mean animals. One stole my sandwich right out of my hands, and one whacked me with its enormous wings.

    Beware.

  2. jared Says:

    There are a bit pushy, but they seem to understand physics. At least, the physics of brandishing…

  3. Desultor Says:

    Not the physics of unrushing bikers, tho. The geese are pretty bad-ass – they just look at you like “what then?” and expect you to go around ’em.

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