In Finland, July seems to be the summer holiday month for most people. The weather has been a little bit rainy and cool in many parts of the country, but warmer weather is expected soon. To all readers, wherever you are, here's to a beautiful and sunny July!
The "national bird" of our country, the whooper swan had become rare in Finland, but recently the population has rebounded. They are magnificent birds.
Concerning the English language, I have now learned that a male swan is called 'cob' and a female one 'pen'. The Oxford English Dictionary tells these names were already known in the 16th century: "c1550 Order for Swannes §27, The cignettes shalbe seazed to the King, till due proof be had whos they are, and whos was the swan that is away, be it cobb, or penne..."
I have a charming little book, a recent print of Robert Cawdrey's A Table Alphabetical (1604) titled The First English Dictionary 1604 (Bodleian Library, 2007). You can't find 'swan', 'cob' nor 'pen' in it, perhaps because everyone knew these words and Cawdrey wanted to draw up a table of "hard" words (i.e. adopted from other languages, such as Greek and Latin) “for the benefit & helpe of Ladies, Gentlewomen, or any other vnskilled persons”. :)
These are my only photos of baby swans. Three years ago, a couple with five cygnets was often seen near our home. When they noticed me, calmly and in good order, they started to move further... :)
Laulujoutsenen äänet ovat kiehtovia. Sen Pohjois-Amerikassa elävän lähisukulaisen nimi onkin trumpettijoutsen.