Everything is relative.
Swans are pretty common in Collingwood, where I come from. I never noticed when they arrived and I didn't much care when they left. I've been up close and personal with swans at the Elmvale Zoo and I can tell you they have wicked teeth from the time one tried to take a bite out of me, and from that other time another one tried to bite me.
We drove out to Swan Haven on Marsh lake today to see a bunch of swans a couple of miles away. We looked at them through a telescope. They bore a strong resemblance to specks. We then took a hike out on the ice. From there, with my 200mm lens, they looked like slightly bigger specks. Dozens of people were out walking, bird watching and photographing.
Every year, thousands of swans stop to rest at open water as they migrate through the Yukon. Marsh Lake is one of the first places they can be seen in the spring. Here, the arrival of swans means the beginning of warmer temperatures.
After half an hour in a deck chair on the ice listening to the distant honking, a couple of swans decided to fly to our side of the lake. I got very excited when they flew closer to us and I could get a few photos. I wasn't even worried about the potential for a swan attack. They were quite beautiful, the white of the swans against the white of the ice.
Sometimes I can feel the Yukon changing me. Something deep is changing. It's a strange kind of contentment, a feeling like I'm where I'm supposed to be. I look at people differently now. I see the best in them instead of the worst. When I'm walking and I look up and see someone, I smile, and that person is usually smiling back.
Even the swans aren't mean here.