Well not exactly a lake - I was at Waterfront park in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, which borders on Barnegat Bay. I was relaxing after eating lunch at my favorite sunset spot this afternoon, when I spotted the first of this beautiful pair.
It was quite a sight to see. There are plenty of seagulls and other similar birds at this location, but I believe this is the first time I have seen swans there. Her mate was off to the left, feeding, like guys often do.
Suddenly, he spotted me at the edge of the dock, and launched into full.... well I was going to say attack, but it was more like....
Well it was more like a dance of intimidation on the water, wings flapping, mouth hissing (not shown - I avoid animal profanity) and just reckless bantering about. Had he come straight at me, I may have backed away, but his rather poor choice in flight path made for quite a sequence of burst mode shots directly in front of me, many just like the above.
When his efforts failed to deter me, he shriveled up in shame, a complete and utter failure.
Our hero soon recovered from his failure, only to turn his back on me and flap once again, in a show of defiance.
Our hero settles down for the moment, drying his feathers, still focused intently in my general direction.
Our lady meanwhile piles on the embarrassment by being completely unafraid and saunters right up to me, making several passes in a circle, as if she were posing for me and my camera. I fired away at every opportunity.
Once our model was exhausted, she swam off in the distance and retrieved her protector, and they both returned for more photos.
But as they cruised by, he kept his wary gaze fixed upon me.
About this time, some children showed up, and these two headed off in their direction for some more attention. Perhaps our Lady prefers posing for little young ladies with smartphones.
After all this activity, this couple was hungry, and they spotted a lady and child off in the distance, making lots of friends on the shore with some food.
Right about the time they finished eating, I managed to grab one final shot of them, side by side.
I can't express enough how beautiful these animals are in person, and they are far larger than they appear in these photos.
From what I have read, it is said that swans mate for life. After watching these two, they almost reminded me of an old human couple. The kind that have been together forever, know each other inside out and carry on together anyway. It is a rare but beautiful sight to see.