See Our Swans

George and Gracie

My love of Swans goes back to growing up in England and all the lakes around us had a pair of Swans on them. When Bill and I moved to this house on the lake in  June of 2005 I had visions of Swans on this three acre lake. I joined the Star Lake Garden Club and mentioned my dream of Swans and they said they would back me up if I could find some. I then had a committee of Garden Club members who knew some of the township officials so we could also get their help and back up. I checked and found Bob Knox in Wisconsin who sold Swans to help cut down the Canadian Geese overpopulation. When I mentioned this to the local residents many more showed an interest as we also have a problem with Canadian Geese. Good friend Craig Warren helped set things up and organized buttons to sell for donations and the township built them a 10 foot pen half in the lake and half out of the lake for them to spend their first 10 days. They had to learn where their food source was and their new surroundings before being freed. We arranged for the two unrelated Swans to fly from Illinois by Delta Airlines and Craig and I ventured to the cargo at the airport to pick them up October 10th.The three year old full grown Swans arrived in one dog crate no worse for wear from their trip and quickly put into their pen where their feeder was already filled in the water for them to use. The day of release was a big one with news coverage and people to watch the pen being lifted and the Swans taking off on the lake. Swan Pins were sold for donations and forms were filled in to vote on names for the Swans. Two weeks later the voting was over and the names of George and Gracie were given to the Swans.

George and Gracie are quite at home on the lake and enjoy the island in the middle which at this time is lit up at night by a Christmas tree. As soon as it gets dark and the tree lights come on we see George and Gracie climb the ramp onto the small star Island. We will add some straw to their spot on this little island in February so they can nest and we will hopefully get to see some cygnets in the Spring. One of the reasons we got older Swans was that it is when they nest that they will be more aggressive to the Geese and claim the lake as theirs.

 

Welcome Gordon the Christmas Swan

 

In December 2011 we bought a third swan thinking maybe the two we had were both girls after going five years with no cygnets. There is no outward way to tell the sex on the trumpeter swans. However he isn't being welcomed like we wanted so we will now save quarters, from the swan and duck food dispenser, so we can buy Gordon a girl friend hopefully in the Spring of 2012.He seems to have settled well on the lake although is more shy than George and Gracie around the people.

 

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Swans 2015
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photos with watermark are copyright of Liz Masoner