— A New Year Begins —
January 7, 2008 — I'm always happy
to see the New Year because after the hustle and
bustle of the holiday season, January brings calmer days. Before we return
to the topic of Great Danes, I'd like to tie up some loose ends concerning our predation
The slaughter has ended, so we
We've had some
positive developments. First and foremost, we've lost no more birds. Heavy rains
in December brought our pond back up to a reasonable level. It's still
about 18 inches below normal but the
"beach" has almost disappeared. We're pretty sure the predators were
attacking the birds from the left side of the beach, using the dock for cover.
That approach is no longer available to them. We're keeping our fingers crossed
that there'll be no more nocturnal violence.
Charlotte is living
with Ted Turner!
long-time visitors are familiar with our
Mute swans. Much has been written about them over the
To recap, we relocated Mr. Big because he was so dangerous during breeding season,
but we kept Charlotte because she's so nice.
However, last week we shipped Charlotte off to Georgia
to live with Ted Turner. I kid you not. It turns out Mr.
Turner had long been seeking a companion for his lone swan "Huey" who
had previously lost his mate. As it happens, Mute swans are rather hard to come
by. One of Mr. Turner's land managers, Steve, contacted me a couple months
ago to see if we'd be willing to sell Charlotte. (He did not disclose the identity
of his boss.) At the time, we were reluctant to let Charlotte go. Steve was
persistent though, checking in from time to time to see if we had changed our
minds. After the predators showed up and we started losing
our birds, we realized Charlotte might be safer elsewhere, so we reconsidered
Steve's offer. Only then did we learn the identity of the buyer.
now living on Ted Turner's 28 acre pond just outside of Atlanta, protected by
100+ acres managed and patrolled by Steve. He reports that she is adjusting well
to her new home. Huey is happy to have a new companion and I'm sure Charlotte
is happier making goo-goo eyes at Huey than pecking at her reflection
in my studio window. Maybe they'll get married.
we miss Charlotte, we feel good about letting her go. She'll be well taken care
of. Steve is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. The first time we met
him he'd driven four hours to pick up the bird, only to leave empty-handed. Charlotte
refused to be caught that day. (It was so embarrassing!) Normally Charlotte spends
her morning hanging out by my studio window, pecking at her own reflection. We
figured it would be a simple matter to grab her before she had a chance to
run back to the pond. But that particular day Charlotte had other ideas. It's
as if she KNEW what was coming. As such, she would not leave the water. In desperation
we tried to round her up using our boat, but she was an artful dodger. To add
to our pain, a veterinarian was present and waiting. He was supposed to examine
Charlotte and issue a health certificate. Well, it didn't happen. Luckily, Steve
— and the vet — could not have been more gracious about the
fiasco. We rescheduled. Five days later Charlotte found herself
on a big new pond with a big new boyfriend. We wish them well.
by Ginnie Saunders. All rights are reserved. No part of this web
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by
any information storage or retrieval system without written
permission from Ginnie
Saunders. To learn more about copyright issues on the web,
visit the Web Law
PO Box 50314
Columbia, SC 29250