Pully boat harbour ... early Saturday morning

Pully harbour

I know it pays to listen to that small. still voice when it talks to me, but I don’t always do what I know to be true.
This morning the voice said ‘Get up and take your camera down to the lake.’ 
My reply was, ‘It’s Saturday, I want a cup of tea and to watch a game of football on my computer.’ I’m so glad I don’t always listen to myself! 
The walk down through the village and the vineyards was creative stimulation enough. The eyes of the bluest skies dominated the landscape behind the fresh, green shoots of the vineyards and contrasting green/blue of the lake. Low cumulus clouds sat as if resting on an invisible glass table at what is about snow-line level, giving a clear view of the French shoreline opposite and exposing the craggy peaks of the no longer drifting into white French Alps.
I found my first photo where the kids sailing boats waited patiently to return to play in the lake, near the sailing club slipway. But the real fun began further on towards Ouchy, on the waters of the small enclosed dry dock harbour. My adopted swan family had their three children out for an early morning paddle and breakfast. This was the swan family that built their nest between two pipes on the lake behind the school. They always seemed too close to the water’s edge and I often helped out by finding sticks for them that they could use to raise the height above lake level of their nest.
Of the seven eggs originally laid, two disappeared a day after they appeared. Last Thursday morning, with cold lake water lapping the base of the nest and threatening to destroy the fabric of this new family, three baby swans found their out way to a new freedom where they could express the beauty of nature in their unique way. Unfortunately two eggs remained sad and silent at the rear of the nest.
This morning, as I quietly clicked my Canon, using a short zoom, I curiously watched man wearing a red spray jacket and running gear, walk down the slipway to greet the giant white birds and their new family, where they had alighted from the lake onto the the paving of the slipway. Over the ripple of the morning breeze I could hear him talking to them and they responded by calmly accepting his close proximity to the new fluffball of a family that hovered within the shadows of their wings.

Heidi, Heido and Henry with un-named newbies
To get closer shots, I walked around to the rear of the slipway and after a few minutes, the man who was talking with the swans walked to where I was sitting and said ‘good morning’ in English which was a nice addition to an already perfect morning.
It turns out, this man, Henry, has lived on the lake’s edge for twenty two years and has been following the activities of this particular swan couple for fifteen years. So he was able to bring me up to speed not only on their recent activities but their whole life history as well. Many years ago, when it had become clear that this pair had laid claim to this shore of the lake, Henry had given them the names of Heidi and Heido. It seems they usually had seven eggs and managed to hatch somewhere between three and five. Foxes and ravens are the main predators and in the stealth of darkness have been able to do a bit of damage to satisfy their protein craving. Henry had documented on his video camera the birth of these little guys last Thursday morning and also helped out by disposing of the two remaining eggs when he could see that they would not realise their dream.

It was so interesting for me to be sitting on the edge of this Saturday morning, with running feet padding the path behind us, listening to the unfoldment of this swan story, a story that I had a vested interest in. Even better, it turned out Henry is a nature and wildlife photographer of renown (http://www.worldlook.co/), operating worldwide out of a studio in his nearby apartment. We shared some of our creative projects and said goodbye by swapping business cards with a promise to catch up in the near future.
In life, as in nature, ALL small, still voices are worth listening to. Wouldn’t you agree?

Held safe beneath the wing

Nap time

And there is always a Vespa close by for that photo shoot escape


  1. What lovely pictures. I am glad you took the advice from the little voice in your head to go down to the lake. Those little swan babies are just precious.


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