The Amazing Swan

Sunrise over the Sculpture Garden on January 7, 2021

Winter is not my favorite season. Snow is rare in New Orleans, and winters here tend to be dank and gray. Cold, too, just not consistently cold. The later sunrises don’t suit my preferred morning routine, either.

If you’re picturing me as a curmudgeonly Bernie Sanders meme right now, fair enough.

I guess it’s just my way of setting up that I’m pretty excited about the approach of spring. And it seems there are more reasons than the return of bluer skies and greener land to be hopeful this year. Yes, the earth is still in the mighty throes of a pandemic, but pandemics don’t last forever, and we might finally be able to say we are in the waning days (months).

Some interesting bird sightings recently also have me thinking of spring. Appropriately: robins, robins, everywhere. But also a particular pelican and singular swan. The pelican, pictured below, was airing out its wings on a bridge in City Park’s sculpture garden. (Actually, the sculpture garden belonging to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which is located in City Park.) Not so unusual, except that it was stationary so long it seemed almost like a fixture.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The swan requires a bit more explanation. There is a mirrored maze in the sculpture garden, that was designed to be walked through. The interior of the maze has been closed due to the pandemic, but you can still walk around it.

The same Saturday I saw the pelican, I spotted a large, white mass at the center of the maze. Because of the way the mirrors are positioned, it’s impossible to get a clear line of sight. But I could clearly make out white feathers, and what appeared to be a neck tucked into a wing, like it was sleeping. A couple of days later, I passed the mirror maze again to look for my fowl friend. Sure enough, there was a swan there, no longer nested at the center, but looking like it was ready to emerge from the labyrinth.

Taken from the exterior of the sculpture garden, January 25, 2021. Look just past the “Interior Closed” sign.
A closer view.

I can only speak for myself, but something about emerging from the maze feels terribly symbolic. 🙂

3 thoughts on “The Amazing Swan

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