Seven Swans

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Seven Swans for Eleanor
Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Barry W. Hollritt, 1999

During the summer of 1999 I personally experienced events that made a lasting impression upon my life and my photographs. During the month of June my mother Eleanor entered a New Jersey hospital and never regained consciousness. She passed away in mid-July. Eleanor had been ill before entering the hospital, and during one of her last visits with me near the lake I live on, she saw a new clutch of swans that were born to the nesting pair on the lake. That particular nesting pair hatched ten newborn cygnets in late May, and to most observers of waterfowl, a clutch of ten is very, very rare. An average clutch of mute swans is usually between four to six birds, so to have a family of ten birds hatched successfully called for some local jubilation. As the young birds began to grow, the ten dwindled to six by early July. It was on a single, glorious sunlit morning that I took the only photograph of the young cygnets the entire time my mom was in the hospital. "Seven Swans for Eleanor" is a dedication to my mother. It depicts the six young birds in a linear pursuit of the mother bird as she worked her way across the lake toward the bright, rising sunrise.


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