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Procrastination or a Break?

How we define what we’re doing is a matter of perception. My writing plan is to write 5 days week for 4 hours, but I’m not doing that right now. Mardi Gras was a good excuse since one of the big parades goes through my neighborhood. But that was last Saturday and Fat Tuesday was two days ago. The really good news is that I received a contract from Soul Mate Publishing the beginning of February for a new story–The Taste of Her. Will advise when it’s going to be published. That success makes me very happy, and perhaps after I quit celebrating, I’ll get back to work.

What I’m doing instead is taking pictures in City Park. IMG_0895
Here one of the black swans, swimming toward us. See how his wings are lifted. That’s aggressive behavior. He’s telling us not to get too close. We had our 3 dogs with us.
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Here’s why. The two have built a nest on a small island in the lagoon that runs along City Park Avenue. Hopefully, folks won’t notice them since they blend in so thoroughly. The orange stripe on their beaks is almost the only way you can find them. We are in great hopes that they will produce cygnets in a couple months. We haven’t any cygnets, black or white, since before Katrina. See my post about the black swan that was injured protecting her nest from vandals last spring. Post title is “Wildlife in New Orleans” from March 19, 2013.

So enough procrastinating this morning. And by the way, if you haven’t read my first novella, The Red Halter Top, I have to ask – “What are you waiting for?”

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Wildlife in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city with a variety of attractions. Bourbon Street’s strip and music clubs often top the list for visitors. But I live near City Park, a 1,300 acre public park within the city. Even though I mainly visit only a small portion, you’ll be amazed at the different kinds of birds I see practically on a daily basis. Canadian geese, barnyard geese, mallards, kingfishers, cormorants, even pelicans in the winter months. Swans are my favorite, however.

We had a nesting pair and a brood of cygnets before Katrina, but none since. It’s hard to tell the males from the females, except the males are somewhat bigger. Notice how this one glares at me – probably because my dogs are too close.
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Swans are large, fierce birds you don’t want to mess with, especially when they have a nest. There’ve been a couple of nests built and tended to in the last few years, but no cygnets. Not sure whether predators (racoons, nutria-big rat-like critters) get the eggs or pollution prevents their development or other problems. IMG_0513

I understand swans mate for life, and the saddest thing I ever saw was a lone swam swimming through the lagoons after Katrina flooded the whole area, calling and clearly searching for other swans. These are so-called mute swans, but sometimes you can hear their call – like a soft shriek. A few months later, a donor from Texas gave the park two white and two black swans.

Only one black swan remains, so far as I see, and she was hurt by some vandals who destroyed her nest and eggs (haven’t seen two black swans, but somehow she produced eggs). Named Amanda, the swan is recovering at the clinic of our bird vet, Dr. Gregory Rich. She’s going to be fine. http://newsle.com/article/0/58611741/ This link connects to a picture of her.

Two white swans remain as well, and this week I saw one of them building a nest on a small island in one of the lagoons. Will keep track and post pictures as things develop. Cross your fingers; we might have more cygnets.

Don’t you wish you lived in New Orleans?

P.S. The weather today is clear, sunny, and 64 degrees.