October 2014

October 2014
Day Trip to Oakridge Oct 2014

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Bevy of Swans

Can you believe I looked that up to see what a group of swans is called?  In flight they are called a wedge, but we didn’t see them flying, we saw them grazing.  We were looking for the bison known to inhabit these fields near our house in Eugene, OR, but the bison were in a back pasture way too far off to get a picture.  Then we looked on the other side of the road and saw the swans.  There was no place to pull over, but there was also no traffic, so we stopped in the middle of the road and took a few shots.

tundra swans

At first we were all excited because we thought they were Trumpeter Swans.  But on closer inspection, we found they are Tundra Swans.  In some of the pictures the yellow spot on the bill under the eye is visible, and that identifies them as Tundra Swans.  They don’t all have the yellow mark but no Trumpeter Swans are so marked.  Also, these swans are smaller than trumpeters but we were far enough away that it was difficult to determine the size.  At any rate, we enjoyed seeing them.


Judy or John S., please tell me if I have made any mistakes here.  I have SO MUCH to learn.

Across the road from the swans we saw this bad boy doing his job of keeping predators away from the sheep.


Handsome fella, eh?


There was just too much sunshine to stay indoors today, so our drive in the country was a welcome interlude.  Last night the weather report said rain today but it has been absolutely gorgeous.  Today the weather forecast show nothing but rain, wind, and more snow in the foothills and above for the next ten days.  Maybe that forecast will be wrong too.

I was going to blog about our drive on the old Columbia River Gorge Highway, but today was so enjoyable, I just had to put that off for another day.  We don’t have to go far in Eugene to see some wonderful sights.   If it rains tomorrow, I will have plenty of time to write about our trip.

I leave you with this shot of a budding tree that I took when we stopped at the lake for a doggy walk.  The color of the bud against the color of the sky was pretty amazing.


Just a quick shout-out to my grand nephew in Texas on the birth today of his 9 lb. 1 oz. baby boy, Brendon.  Congrats Brian and Crystal on your new little bundle of joy.


  1. Enjoyed the animal pictures, glad you both had a nice day out. Good to see the budding tree spring can't be to far off. Looking forward to this weekend's time change. Congratulations to your grand nephew and wife on there child's birth. Wishing you and Russ a great weekend!

  2. I see that Llama actually smiled for you...how nice of him.
    When that sun shines, you just have to get out in it!
    Please pass on our CONGRATULATIONS to Brain and Crystal. 9.1 great size for the new one! ~wheresweaver

  3. Trumpeter, Tundra--I don't care as long as it's a swan--so beautiful, so graceful. I love the picture of your beautiful blue sky. Great weather here today, too--we'll take all that we can get. I'm storing up vitamin D for returning home to our rainy climate!

  4. Swans AND llamas, sounds like a perfect day

  5. A bevy of swans is much better than a murder of crows ;-)
    I could see the yellow on the lores on at least one of the birds.... So... are they in migration or is this their winter habitat? Is the llama the "watch dog"? And, of course, congratulations on the new family member!

  6. Loved the sheep guard picture. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

  7. My healthy baby boy and fiance crystal are resting and doing amazing

  8. Thanks for the nice pictures, they helped offset the ugly day we had here today.

  9. rain rain and more rain today!..you two scored in the weather department today!!

  10. Six geese a-laying, seven swans a -swimming ... oh wait, your seven aren't swimming ... and they have a whole slew of friends with them. Such graceful fowl.

  11. You are right on with your ID! Swans always bring to my mind the tale of the Ugly Ducking. :)

  12. Thanks for the lesson. I probably would have referred to them as a "herd" of Swans, LOL.

  13. What a beautiful day! Hope the weather doesn't change as forecast.

  14. Loved your blog. Made me think of two things. I was shocked to find "pods" of Pelicans in Montana and Wyoming. (Laughing--learn something every day). I guess that's where the y roost (is that the correct word?) At any rate, I always associated them with the ocean.

    When we were in central Idaho, ranchers were killing wolves because they were attacking their sheep. I had read that llama in a herd would protect them which would eliminate the need to kill wolves--there had been a newly transplanted pack in the area of the Sawtooths. Rich and I were parked in a field one day at dusk, and the most magnificent wolf passed right in front of us, stopped and looked for a moment, and then went on. I don't know how anyone could kill one of these creatures, especially when there's a solution to protecting a herd of sheep.

    I was talking to a man in Stanley, and asked him if they used llamas in their herds and he they don't. Even though it's against the law to kill a wolf, the ranchers hate them so much that they kill them all the time, anyway, and they keep the identities of the killers a secret. Llamas, I also heard, are also very easy on the ecology of the land. We saw herds with Great Pyrenees Dogs that also protect them. Amazing how hard it is to spot them in the herds.

    Congratulations to your family with the new baby. Enjoy your posts, as always.

  15. I liked the photo of the Llama best!

  16. The swans look beautiful, nice photos of them. Just over a week ago we came across one on one of our walks and I went over to have a look and it came up out of the water to inspect me, I was sure glad there was a fence between it and us because it turned out to not be so friendly!

    Kevin and Ruth

  17. I often see something while driving, check my mirrors to make sure there's no one else around, and I'll slow way down or stop in the middle of the road to get a photo. No harm, no foul, and great photos!

    Interesting about the llamas protecting the sheep. I didn't know that.

    Congrats on the birth of your grand-nephew. He's a big boy! :)