Bella and Willow

Lori McCray
2 min readJun 23, 2021
6/22/2021, photo Lori B. McCray. Bella and Willow, littlest of the whites (though that naming isn’t so great either)

You know me, I like to know things. And sometimes, I wish I could take that back. This is one of them. I did some poking around in why the strain of Mute Swan which produces White cygnets is called ‘Polish’ and the first paragraph, about the pit in the back of the castle for swans who were “kept for table” was hard to look at: “To increase the number of swans available for eating, London poulterers, from at least the early 1800s, imported Mute Swans from the Baltic region for sale as food and some of these produced white cygnets. In 1836, William Yarrell noticed some differences in the features of a pair of these imported swans that produced white cygnets, and he called them ‘Polish Swans’. He could just as easily have called them Baltic Swans. He even suggested (incorrectly) that they were a separate species and gave them the scientific name Cygnus immutabilis, meaning ‘the unchanging swan’.”

The article refers to the gray cygnets as “normal”. And this is how us vs. them begins… To balance the naming nonsense, I give you this sweet moment from yesterday (if she were human, Willow would have baggage already. “Your sibs are normal and you aren’t”)

Here is the group (Buzz is standing near me, begging. Just like his daddy)

Bella and quickly growing brood, photo by Lori B. McCray 6/22/2021

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Lori McCray

Photographer, Poet, Musician, Mother, Mystic, Gardener, friend of wild creatures, swan whisperer. Find me on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wingthing/