Featured Art: Shawme Pond Swans

Kathryn-Kleekamp-Shawme-Pond-Swans

“Shawme Pond Swans” by Kathryn Kleekamp, Cape Cod Branch

Oil on Canvas, 9 by 12 inches 

www.SandwichArt.com

 

The story behind “Shawme Pond Swans,” in the artist’s own words:

 

 I live on Shawme Pond in Sandwich, Massachusetts. I’ve delighted in the annual event of watching our resident pair of swans build their nest while the air is still cool in early spring. The first sighting of the tiny new cygnets is usually around Mother’s Day.

Two years ago, the swans had a beautiful family of eight babies, right on schedule. Unfortunately, nature is not always kind. Our pond has many predators — snapping turtles, coyotes, raccoons, and owls. One by one, the number of cygnets diminished. However, several weeks later, I was relieved to see the pen (female swan) once again sitting on her nest.

This second nesting time seemed particularly long. I watched the pen, day after day, in rain and wind, patiently sitting on her nest, denying herself feedings and baths. My heart was deeply touched at her unwearied care. Happily, once again she had a clutch — this time, six cygnets.

A week or so later, when she and her mate came to the shore to visit, they were alone. I knew the devoted pair would never leave their little ones and once again, I was heartbroken. I can’t begin to express my agony over this second cruel blow.

As they glided closer to shore, however, the pen opened her wings and I saw a beautiful cluster of tiny, gray heads tucked in together on her back. In an instant, my tears were those of great joy and happy relief. I raced into the house to get my camera. This oil painting is from one of the photos I took that morning, happily catching the last hesitant cygnet still on mom’s back.

—Kathryn Kleekamp

P.S. Out of the six, five cygnets grew to adulthood and were quite breathtaking to see as they flew away to find a new home together.

 

Comments

  1. Dorothy Kamm says

    What a beautiful story and what a beautiful painting. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Diane McDonough says

    Beautiful, Kathryn.

  3. Yeah! Great story and sweet painting.
    Thank you~

  4. Tracy Graham Lanum says

    Oh so very lovely and heartwarming.

  5. What a gorgeous, peaceful painting.

  6. Barbara Routen says

    Hi, Kathryn, I love your painting, and the story makes it even more poignant. I’m so glad it had a good ending! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Barb Whitmarsh NLAPW says

      JUST GORGEOUS. I LOVE SWANS AND
      HOW THEIR BABIES RIDE THEIR WINGS
      WARM AND DRY PLACE I PRESUME
      GOOD STORY AND THANKS
      FOR SHARING.

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