Saturday, May 26, 2007

Baby swans!

Can't believe it - after several years with no success, the swan couple on the "pond" - that's the mini-loch next to our garden - have hatched cygnets. Six of them! And so much for the Ugly Duckling - they're gorgeous!

Back when we first moved in, there was a couple who had cygnets every year, and the male came up to the garden a lot (ever barricaded yourself in the house cause there's an adult male swan laying siege on the patio?), but in the last few years they stopped visiting and a new couple seemed to have taken their place. It was sad to watch, though, because every year we'd see the female on her nest, but they never hatched. The other week, however, a male came up to the garden, so we're not sure if this is the old couple back, the later couple or a new one, but the important thing is, they've got babies - six wee, cheeping, adorable bundles of grey fluff.

Naturally, we reverted to type and named them, keeping to our old tradition. My sister had a bit of an obsession with swans when she was wee, so we named the cygnets after the Children of Lir, which was our favourite Celtic myth. This year, we renewed that tradition, so we now have Fionula, Fiachra, Conn and Fionn (we forgot what the fourth one was called, d'oh!). And for the remaining two, we have Eithne (my choice), and... Penny (her choice). Slightly off the Irish naming scheme, but tradition's tradition. No, I don't know what sex they really are.

Oh, I'm feeling all nostalgic now.

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