Dear Editor:

The swans on Pinon Lake are loved by both residents and visitors to Pagosa Springs. Their majestic beauty is something that all enjoy as they year after year introduce a brand new family to our area. This year the two adult swans that make Pinon Lake their permanent residence had four chicks. The swans use the small island on Pinon Lake as their safe haven for nesting and raising their chicks. The adults are very protective of the little ones as they grow each year, only letting them get a little exposure to humans if they have something to feed them. There are several condos surrounding Pinon Lake and often the visitors will feed the swans and let them actually come right up on their patios.

The adult swans seem to be very content with letting a variety of ducks join them on the lake; however, if you happen to be a Canadian Goose, you just are not welcome. Often, some very uninformed geese will land on the lake to get a snack or two and the swans run them off immediately. Geese are just not welcome at any time. Some have suspected it is because of the chicks; but, after careful observation one will realize that geese are not welcome at any time during the year.

This year, we had a very tragic situation. The four chicks were almost full grown by mid September when something attacked and killed two of the chicks. There are many large dogs that often are seen scampering around the edge of the lake and when this occurs, the swans will immediately move to the center of the Lake if they happen to be along the road or some other area that the dogs might be able to catch them. During the month of September this year, Pinon Lake was very low and some believe that a fox may have been the culprit that killed the two chicks. We will probably never really know; but, they are missed.

John Gosselink

Willis, Texas

This story was posted on September 26, 2012.