I've lived in the Twin Cities area for something like 40 years now. In that time I learned about the trumpeter swan recovery that started in the Carver Park Reserve. Since I've lived mostly on the east side of the metro area, I rarely got to see the swans that lived in western Hennepin County. During the past few years, I've noticed swans on occasion along the St. Croix River. The whole family has made at least one trip to Alma to see if we could catch the migrating flocks (poor timing, no success).
St. Croix River in Summer © harrington
When I started doing research for a writing project I'm working on, I specifically searched the internet for mention of swans + St. Croix River. I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that swans winter over in several locations in the St. Croix valley, including Wild River State Park, near the Willow River's confluence with the St. Croix as well as at Hudson WI. If the rest of 2014 provides as many gratifying surprises as these first few weeks, it should be a great year. Do you think Yates is writing just about swans or about...?
The Wild Swans at Coole
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,Under the October twilight the waterMirrors a still sky;Upon the brimming water among the stonesAre nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon meSince I first made my count;I saw, before I had well finished,All suddenly mountAnd scatter wheeling in great broken ringsUpon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,And now my heart is sore.All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,The first time on this shore,The bell-beat of their wings above my head,Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,They paddle in the coldCompanionable streams or climb the air;Their hearts have not grown old;Passion or conquest, wander where they will,Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,Mysterious, beautiful;Among what rushes will they build,By what lake's edge or poolDelight men's eyes when I awake some dayTo find they have flown away?
Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Be kind to each other while you can.