Katie, aka Lady Katherine, is a female mute swan that showed up at White Rock Lake a little over a year ago. K didn’t think that the name “Katie” suited the swan, so I suggested that we call her Lady Katherine. She’s a lonely bird; she spent most of last fall and winter following the geese around. She had a sexual relationship with a goose called Patches, although their union was not fruitful. K was extremely disturbed by their coupling, and even I was a little squicked out by the cross-species thing. Of course, if two birds of mature age consent to unconventional sexual practices, who am I to condemn them?
Now that fall is here, the ganders are ready to start mating. The hens, however, are not as enthusiastic.
Sometimes I wonder whether certain gestures that my goose friend Mister Mary Mack performs in front of me are courting signals. If they are, he has been a gentleman about respecting my boundaries. I am not Lady Katherine; I am only interested in mating with my own species.