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In preparation for 2021 coming to a close, I found myself reviewing thousands of photos from the year in order to create a "highlight reel". I first narrowed it to 50, then 30, and then I thought to myself, "does this smattering of photos tell a story of the year and bring value to a viewer?" Nope, it did not. So instead, I decided to pick one moment captured in 2021 that gave me much-needed hope. My wish is that it will bring you a smile and bit of hope too. This will also be my first blog post and I am not really a writer, so please kindly bear with me as I figure this out 😉.


Near the end of July, I found myself perched along the edge of a private lake in a friend’s back yard in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched the pair of adult swans floating gracefully with their six cygnets (baby swans) just a few feet away.

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It made me feel happy and hopeful to remember how this moment had come to exist. In September of 2019, the female swan of Lake Stoughton, named “Dippy” by a local child, had been alone for 4 years. Sadly, her mate had been killed by turtles and as typically (not always) swans mate for life, she had been living her life in solitude ever since. The compassionate residents of the lake, led by Brad & Laurel Foy, had set out to find her a new life mate and the time had finally come. With the help of rescues, they located a young male swan in Lancaster who needed a new home due to the territorial nature of male swans at his current home. At only 4 months old, “Brother Jeb” had found himself the newest addition to this serene lake community. Though not a resident of the community, I found myself following the story right along with everyone else. Many of us had eagerly watched the updates on the progress of the pair. Would they get along? Would they become a pair or even just keep each other company? In May 2020, we were excited to see that not only had the young swan fared well over the winter, but had managed to woo his lake-mate and they were behaving as a bonded pair. Then in May of 2021, the lake was abuzz with the exciting news of a clutch of 6 cygnets (baby swans).

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I lingered that evening as the sun started to set, my trusty Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G cell phone in hand, not wanting the moment to end. Swans have long been regarded as symbols of love, devotion, grace, inner beauty, and elegance. The story itself is certainly one of unselfish love for nature and community which I find very inspiring. As I look back on it now, I remember that swans are often seen as good luck; signifying peace and contentment as they calmly glide over glass-like water.

Our hope for each of you is that you find that same peace as you calmy glide through the coming year.

We would love to keep in touch and hear your stories of hope from 2021 so please like, comment below, and share here on the website, Our Facebook Page, and/or on Instagram. Stay tuned for an update and availability on next year’s hatchlings too!

Note: You may click on any photo to purchase prints or other gift items, please let us know if there is an item you would like and do not see. We love recommendations and requests!

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