“She’s Got A Baby”

Today’s thirty minute walk was along the stony seawall path of Keyhaven Harbour. Jackie drove me there and back and waited in the car park while I strode out and crawled back.

As I began to open the gate leading on to the mallow lined footpath I noticed a woman carefully following the ungainly swan walking ahead. I did not see the little legs behind the mother.

From the car Jackie yelled “she’s got a baby’. Looking at the container the woman was carrying, I wondered what my wife was talking about, especially as there wasn’t much activity in the transparent tub.

In order to obtain a view from Jackie’s perspective I slid along the front of the Modus and saw the little imprinted cygnet.

I exchanged greetings with a number of other walkers and cyclists availing themselves of this mallow-lined stony path leading to Lymington with its views of the harbours, the Isle of Wight, Hurst Castle and associated lighthouse. The gentleman at the rear of the group in the fifth of these pictures is awaiting a knee replacement, and asked me what to expect. I gave him the benefit of my experience.

I’m not sure what kind of duck this is with its babies bobbing about.

I passed more walkers on my return to the car park,

on the other side of which the cygnet was learning preening.

This evening we dined on minty lamb burgers with roasted mushrooms; creamy mashed potato; crisp cauliflower and carrots, and tender runner beans. I realise I have been regularly remiss in not mentioning the delicious aroma emanating from steaming bowls of perfectly cooked vegetables. Today my nostrils gave me a wake up call. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.


  1. The image in my mind of Jackie yelling, “she’s got a baby,” and you looking around gave me a much needed laugh. Mother and babies in photos are lovely. It looks like a pleasant day–and a delightful sensory experience at the end.

  2. I’m glad you’re striding out and hope you’re soon striding back again! It’s funny that the swan has only one cygnet. That is an invasive species in my area and it’s unusual to see any with less than a pair of offspring. The males have tremendous battles in the nearby marsh in the spring.

    1. Oh, wow – we see swans as precious. But I will never plant Morning Glories again because they take over the garden. Funny how and abundance of one thing or another makes it invasive.

      1. We have two native species that are spectacular: the huge whistling (aka tundra) swan and the shy trumpeter swan, which is slowly coming back from endangered.

        Oh, morning glories! I dug quite a few from the garden recently, but they are fewer in number every year. The really tenacious invader was a Virginia creeper (I killed it off last year) and a thorny berry-producing shrub that my neighbor has been battling for three years. ?

      1. Oh, I didn’t know you had those! How terrible. They carry the parasite that causes swimmers itch and are so messy, particularly a nuisance on golf courses and playing fields in public parks.

  3. I love that you stride out and crawl back. That shows you are pushing yourself. That’s the only way to gain ground, just push a little further each time. (Of course, you know this, Mr. Athlete.) And I love that Jackie will come to your rescue. . . (That binocular story from before just feels so good.)

    Love the swan mama and babe. I have never seen that.

  4. We’ve lots of baby ducklings on our two lakes, they’re just so sweet. Lovely photos as always Derrick.

  5. That is a quiet place, the stony path to Keyheaven Harbour. The walkers along the stretch both human and anatine infuse colour and warmth to the pictures.

  6. Beautiful photos of a beautiful day!
    What Jackie yelled, and what you thought, made me laugh! πŸ˜€
    Love the babies, of course! So sweet! πŸ™‚
    Keep striding, even if you have to crawl back. So worth the effort. πŸ™‚
    ‘Twas nice of you to share your knee-replacement-journey with that man.
    I can smell the veggies from here! Lovely! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…How is your Mum doing?

  7. Someone mentioned their surprise at only one cygnet. Swans always lay a clutch so I wonder what happened to the others.

  8. Nothing like a walk by the beach to get the nostrils working – salt air is good for the sinuses! πŸ˜‰

    Beautiful swan and cygnet photos, not to mention the other users of the pathway. πŸ™‚

    I think it’s safe to say it is a female duck but beyond that is a matter of conjecture, unless there is any more detail available. In the absence of same i’d be inclined to go with female mallard. πŸ˜‰

    Hope the knee is getting stronger and less of a pain.

  9. Looks like a great place to take a nice walk around and to see nature at it’s best!

  10. Enjoy your posts Derrick, your pictures are always a pleasure, your descriptions on your suppers are certainly tantalizing, virtually smell the aroma. You are a very lucky man with a live in Gourmet Chef.

  11. Wonderful picture of the swan and cygnet. Made me a little sad, though, to see just one. Unless just one cygnet hatched, I suppose the others were eaten. Sigh.

  12. Why did you crawl back? Were you out too long? I’m glad you had the opportunity to give some insight about knee surgery to someone else. Derrick, these photos are so beautiful.

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