Sunday, 9 June 2013

There once was a ugly duckling ...

The story of the "Ugly duckling" by Hans Christian Anderson always touched me as a child. I felt sorry for the ugly duckling when he was teased and went sadly off on his own, but was glad when he turned into a beautiful swan. Maybe he ended up somewhere as beautiful as this.


This is Abbotsbury Swannery, there has been a swannery here since 1040, when swans were breed by monks for lavish banquets. The swans still live here today and are no longer eaten. They are free to come and go - there are about 800 swans that live along the Fleet Lagoon here. In May and June you can walk through the colony of nesting Mute swans. There are usually about 100 breeding birds, producing 500 eggs!


The swans are fed twice a day on wheat grains and seeing so many swans together is quite a sight. They are much more tolerant of people, compared with other swans you may encounter.


With so many swans to feed they asked for volunteers to help feed them, and I had to offer to help! ( I am the closest one in the picture.)


 The eggs are quite large, about four inches long, we weren't lucky enough to see any cygnets emerging from the egg.


There were however lots of cute cygnets to see.




What was your favourite fairy tales? I also liked the "Elves and the shoemaker" - the ladybird book of this was wonderful and "Three billy goats Gruff". It's amazing how these stories have passed through the generations. I re-looked at some of the stories from Hans Christian Anderson and enjoyed reading some of this stories again, so many focus on nature see here.

Welcome to my new followers Willie and Effie's Sweet Home Design thank you for joining me.
Sarah x

37 comments:

  1. I loved the elves and the shoemaker and the ugly duckling too. I had a set of Andersen books and I loved them and a couple of years ago I bought the complete stories of Andersen and the Brothers Grimm and read them all! The princess and the pea was another favourite.

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit and you took some beautiful photos.

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    1. The princess and the pea was another favourite of mine, I had forgotten that one!
      Sarah x

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  2. How lovely to be able to feed them and see the cygnets up close. My favourite was the Elves and the Shoemaker, the ladybird version too!

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  3. Oh my those cygnets are too fluffy and pretty for words. Glad that you have a lovely time - I have not been there for years so it is about time that I paid another visit I think
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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  4. Now that is a place I've always wanted to visit, so thank you so much for sharing these pics Sarah.

    My favourite fairy tale growing up ... probably The Snow Queen.

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  5. I had a book of his fairytales. I loved Thumbelina and The Emperors New Clothes. The swans are great and as you say it's great to be able to get up close without being attacked!

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  6. We had a pair of swans nest nearby this year - 3 eggs - but sadly a high tide washed the nest and eggs away, so no cygnets like the lovely ones in your photographs...what a nice volunteer job!

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    1. Sadly it was only for that 1 session!
      Sarah x

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  7. I love that last pic, nothing ugly about those!

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  8. What lovely photos. I also love the tale of the ugly duckling. My daughter and I love to read it for bed time stories.
    The swans and cignets are beautiful x

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  9. Sarah!

    I am so enchanted. I love blogging, I love to see the world. And to learn more about your area and the nature you get to see is a fairytale in itself. Thank you for this glorious moment of seeing these elegant birds so close up! And I love THE RED SHOES!!!!!!! Anita

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  10. gorgeous photos.. i especially love the cygnets!
    x

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  11. What glorious photos of the swans you have captured Sarah - they are such beautiful elegant birds. Love the one with the cygnets riding on the swans back.

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  12. I love Beauty and the Beast best, I think. But I also love Rapunzel and Thumbelina. This looks like a really interesting place to visit. You always have such wonderful locations to share.

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  13. I too loved The Ugly Duckling. It looks like fun (but work) to go out to help feed the swans.

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  14. "Once upon a time there lived a shoemaker and his wife.
    The man was a good shoemaker and he worked hard, yet he
    and his wife were very poor.
    As time went on, they grew poorer and poorer.".

    Yes! l have the 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' here in front
    of me...(1965). I still have 139 ladybird books, l bought for
    my daughter....Long time ago now! :).

    Lived in Dorset for a long time now...Never been to Abbotsbury.
    Lovely...Lovely photos....!

    And...The ending...
    "They were rich for the rest of their lives".

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    1. It was lovely to read the opening words of the "Elves and the Shoemaker". How wonderful to have all the ladybird books! The illustrations in them are so good. Abbotsbury is one of our favourite places to it has great walks, a pretty village and you can also get on Chesil beach. We only visit North Dorset occasionly as there is so much on our doorstep.

      Sarah x

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  15. Α great post Sarah, so interesting!You have captured some rare moments, those babies on the wingspans of their mum are just adorable!
    Swans are so beautiful and symbolize love and fidelity because of their long-lasting relationships.Swans feature strongly in Greek mythology, in literature, in paintings...Really enjoyed it!
    Have a nice week!
    Olympia

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  16. How brave of you to get that close. I love your photo of the cygnets, they look so adorable and fluffy.

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  17. hello sarah! lovel;y photos! abbotsbury is beautiful and one of Dorsets treasures! I need to go again. My sis was there last friday though, and i have some film she took! i must see if I can upload it!

    leanne x

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  18. Do you know, I didn't really like that kind of fairy tale very much -I'm not sure why, expect, I suppose, that many of them aren't very happy.
    Swan feeding, and cygnet admiring, does however look very happy! Juliex

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  19. This post definitely has the ahh factor!! I love your part of the world and was very excited to discover ancestors from Dorset!

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  20. What a fabulous place, those little baby's just melt my heart.

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  21. Hi dear Sarah,
    great photos, the little cygnets are so cute... wishing you a happy week
    Bin

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  22. Swans are the most beautiful birds and their little ones are all so cute and darling.

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  23. Hello Sarah, WOW what wonderful photos of the swans at the Abbotsbury. The Swans are so very beautiful and grand. It looks like the most beautiful place. How very neat that you get to volunteer to feed the Swam. The Cygnets are so sweet and fuzzy. I have never seen a Swan Egg, they are very big indeed.. Thanks for sharing all these great photos. Hugs Judy

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  24. Lovely babies. It looks like you had a really nice day out.
    When my son was little we used to play the 3 billy goats and the troll over bridges. He loved it! CT x

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  25. Oh my how incredibly adorable. What a great experience you must have had helping to feed them. I think it is time for me to re-visit some old tales and re-live my childhood.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Kim

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  26. I have a few Ladybird books bought at the second hand bookshop - they remind me of my schooldays as a youngster - I used to like Snow White and Rose Red, Beauty and the Beast and The Elves and the Shoemaker.
    June

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  27. Dear Sarah, your blog looks all new! Well, done! I like those swans although I am always a bit afraid of them! When I was a little girl a swan snatched my shoe and I seem not to overcome that experience! I always like to see how mother swan takes her young ones on the back and takes them around! Thanks for your lovely words on my recent post. Take care, Christa

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  28. We always looked to going whenever we've visited, but never did...I wish we had now.

    Nina x

    ps. I love the Ugly ducking song sany by Danny Kaye!

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  29. What a fabulous place to visit - and lovely photos of the Swans and Cygnets. They are beautiful birds and I love to see the strong bond between the adult pair. And I grew up with the fairytales, too - I used to love to imagine the dark, enchanted forests where so many of them were set.

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  30. Beautiful little grey puffs - lovely, the entire post - I can add Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty to the long, long list.

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  31. What lovely pictures and a very interesting post. I was humming along with the Danny Kaye version too. As for favourite books- I love the old ladybird series, The illustrations were just great- I don't think I've forgiven my mum yet for handing them down to younger family members and never been seen again! My favourite was Ladybird fairytale was Beauty and the beast, although I can probably remember most of them:)

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  32. Good morning Sarah, beautiful photos and those little ducklings are so precious. Thanks for your visit and glad to hear that your roses are starting to bloom. : )
    Blessings,
    Bobbie Lynn

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