A real black swan event!

By The General on June 21, 2017
  • A real black swan event!

    I can tell these swans are having a good time.

The Boss showed me this the other day and said I should try it - he reckons dogs can surf too, with a bit of effort.

I'd be good at it, probably, but it has heightened my respect for the black swans I see down on the river.

They're an impressive bird, mainly black with a bright red bill and white underwings. 

When I sneak along the river bank for a closer look they will lift their wings and start flapping. They look ungainly at this point but it doesn't take them long to get motoring and they skim off along the water with slow, graceful wing-beats.

Usually they hang about in pairs. The male is called a Cob and the female a Pen, according to The Boss, and he reckons they are monogamous and mate for life.

They have this pleasant, bugle-like call and The Boss claims each black swan has a unique call that other swans can recognise, although I don't know how he knows this.

Their Latin name is Cygnus stratus, which he thinks is ironic because the Roman poet, Juventus, in a moment of great philosophical insight, says that all swans are white.

And this view held until the early explorers found them in Australia.

More recently, an economist wrote a treatise about "black swan events" as being a left-field, or unexpected and unpredicted event that takes everyone by surprise.

I like that - they are a surprise when you first seek them, a still a special event on the river. Woof.

By The General on June 21, 2017

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