Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

Trumpeter Swans on Pat's Lake

Currant leaf budding.

Currant leaf budding.

This morning my Sweetheart offered a drive out the road as a treat for the day. That is a really big deal because we pack snacks in a cooler, grab extra boots just in case, and I make sure that there is plenty of space on the memory card in the camera. Its always special, and it is always a gift when he takes me out for a drive. We get to putt slowly along, taking in the changing season, talking about everything or nothing, and I always feel like I am unwrapping a big, shiny package and receiving life treasures.

It takes way longer to cover a few miles than if we just drove over the road. See, he's patient. He's patient like I wish I had a fraction of. He will stop the truck for the forty-third time and wait calmly while I take twenty-seven pictures of a tree branch.

Yes, tree branches thrill me.  Stop and ponder their forms and existence some day. Tree branches might thrill you, too.

We couldn't go right away, though. I needed to put another coat of sealer on some boards before we left. And there was one more board to cut. And there were a few chores that couldn't wait. Time and daylight were moving past me.

I tried for patience, tried not to get fussy. I tried to remember that the light would not be gone, that there would be opportunities to see wonderful things and hear the grouse hooting off in the woods. 

Please tell me where the patience store is so that I can go buy some.  

We finally got going, though, and sure enough, there were delights like pussy willows to enjoy. 

Pussy willows are one of the most delightful signs of spring.

I never will grow up when it comes to pussy willows. Why bother? It is way more fun to marvel at the silky little catkins and soak in the rich rust tones or spring greens of the sheaths that they pop out of.

There is still a lot of snow around, so most of the back roads are impassable. Pat's Creek road is open, though. As we passed Pat's Lake we saw white blobs on the far side of the lake. Swan's often stop over here on their migration. I wished that they were close enough to see more clearly.

We drove on up the road, stopping to enjoy signs of spring. On the way back the swans were feeding where we could see them. 

Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator)

The youngsters, or cygnets, are gray. 

Trumpeter swans with a cygnet.

I'll shush now and let you enjoy the graceful swans.  You can click on the photos to enlarge them if you wish.

Trumpeter swans in Pat's Lake, Wrangell, Southeast Alaska

I could tell you all kinds of facts about these beautiful birds that you could look up in dozens of other places. That's not what the day was about, though. It was about appreciating colorful buds and other small things first, so that the swans would know that they could come close and be appreciated. It was about appreciating my One and Only as he patiently held my backpack while I snapped pictures. Watching him I could remind myself to be patient when chores are delaying the outing. I could tell the inner grouch, that stomps through my mind when I am impatient, to step back inside the closet and close the door. Gently. The most delightful treat of all is going to be late in the afternoon, when the sun comes out and the swans cross to the near side of the lake. Presents are best opened at the right time.  

Someday I'll learn.  

Wishing you the grace of swans,

Alaska Beachcomber

More on Southeast Alaska birds:


Or you can see all kinds of animals here: Alaskan Critters