Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Surprise at Lake Ontario

The weather has broken, at least for a while, and I took the opportunity to start my walking again.  Now that I'm not "glowing" with every step I take, I feel like doing things again.

The first place I headed to was the lake.  I wanted to walk out on the pier and see what was happening.  When I got out of the car, I was assaulted by the most horrific stench that I have ever smelled there.  It didn't take me long to figure out why.  All you had to do was to look at the water.

The water was so green with algae that it appeared almost black.  All of those hot days had, apparently, raised the temperature of the water to a point where algae really flourished.  Blech!

But, I kept on.  As I got out onto the pier itself, the water cleared.  It was a windy day, and the waves were really kicking up.

As I looked back towards the shore, I could see how they were pounding the breakwater that has been built all along this area of the lake.

I looked out towards the lake.  The last time I was here, I couldn't figure out what the object was that I was seeing, way out in the lake.  I thought it might be a ship.  Today, it was there again.  So, no ship, but, rather, some kind of dredging operation.  It seems marginally closer this time, so I wonder if they're clearing out the shipping lanes? 

After watching the waves for a while, I headed back to my car.  I decided, before I left, however, that I would take a look at Mill Creek, and see what was there.  As I was walking towards the creek, which was full of Mallards sheltering from the waves, I saw a big, black bird in their midst.  You can barely see it in this picture.

I walked closer, and saw, very much to my surprise, a Black Swan.  Black Swans are native to Australia, and are quite common there.  They are a very rare, introduced species here, however, very rarely seen in the wild.  I am thinking that this one must be an escapee from somewhere.
When I got home, I sent an email to the same gentleman that I had notified about the banded Mute Swan that I had seen.  I included this picture  I didn't know if it was important that someone with the DEC know or not.  I'm very impressed by this gentleman.  He has answered me already.  He told me that he has sent the picture to someone else, presumably someone who is more involved with swans.  He told me that this gentleman would almost surely have something to say about this bird, and thanked me very much for sending the information.  I'll let you know what he has to say.

In the meantime, here's a short video of the swan.


 I forgot to put this second video in, and now, I can't get it to go in the right place.  I wanted to show how a large lake like Ontario is different from some of the smaller lakes that you might be familiar with.  Sometimes, I think that it's much closer to an ocean, than a lake.  Too bad you can see how dirty the water is.


Tina said...

Wow a black swan, they are such power full symbols, never seen one....
Looks like a nice day by the lake despite the smell. I just love watching water.

barefootheart said...

Cool find. It will be interesting to see what the swan man says. The little video makes a great soundtrack to view your water shots to!

Lori Skoog said...

Louise. I just caught up! Especially love the second shot of the waves. That foal is spectacular, and you sure feed a lot of wildlife. They have to love you for it. Is that meadow right next to your house?

My kitties are in the barn again today. They have a crate with a bed, toys, food, water and I leave the radio on for them. They love sleeping on the highest bale of hay. I bring them in when I do evening chores (for dinner and playing with the dogs). When they are older, they can be anywhere they want. For now they are in the house with us from about 6pm.

Sharon said...

Had never seen a black swan, thank you! The lake does look pretty yucky, don't think I would want to get my feet wet now!

Canyon Girl said...

Hi Louise, I'm back to read all the blogs and see what you all have been up to. You are right those lakes are more like oceans or the Baltic Sea, which has salt water. The black swan is gorgeous, I can't wait to hear what the man has to say.

Vicki Lane said...

What a lake! And to see a black swan -- how terrific!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Louise! Your videos remind me of when we lived in Wisconsin where my husband is from and we would venture around Lake Michigan--The water was so cold, but I always thought that it was like the ocean, only with pebbles on the beach--What memories your video and pictures bring back!
I think swans are just exquisite and have seen black swans but never in the wild--What an amazing and surprising sight! Let us know if this one is found to be a fugitive!

Jabacue said...

Great pics Louise! I forget how BIG Lake Ontario really is! You are right....like an ocean.
That Black Swan is a beauty. What an incredible find and to get pictures of it too!
Some beaches also SMELL after the tide leaves behind a pile of sea weed....rotting in the sun!