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Mystery Swan Flies In, Wild Goose Chase Fails

A trumpeter swan makes feathered friends instead of chasing away a pond full of geese.

The small lake at Romaine Creeks Estates subdivision in Fenton is free from ice because it is spring fed. It doesn't freeze over.

Which makes the lake—a large pond really—an attractive place for geese.

Hundreds of geese.

Hundreds of serene, blissfully swimming geese that look stately in the water, but make a mighty mess of droppings on the lake's edges and the sidewalks nearby.

That's why it was a welcome sight for some homeowners when a swan suddenly appeared. The rumor was that the homeowner's association secured a swan and released it into the lake where, it was said, it would scare the geese away. No more geese; no more goose droppings.

The thing is, it isn't true—on two counts.

The homeowner's association is in the dark as much as anyone else. No one apparently knows where the swan came from.

"The swan is a mystery," said Anthony Flores, an association board member. "I don't know what we can do to get rid of the geese."

As for a swan being the instigator of a wild goose chase, one is not enough anyway. According to the Trumpeter Swan Society, there needs to be two swans, they need to be a male and a female, and they have to be in their nesting season—March through October. At other times of the year, single swans will readily flock together with their goose cousins.

The Society suggests a trained dog is more effective—one that would jump in the water and chase them.

T.J. Gajjar, another homeowner's association board member, said a variety of solutions have been suggested, including shooting off fireworks at regular intervals to scare the geese away.

"You'd have to do it every hour for several weeks for it to work," Gajjar said.

The problem is, by that time, several homeowners might be scared away as well.

Meanwhile, whether the swan was scared away by the geese, or just was tired of sharing the lake with hundreds of other birds, it disappeared this week.

Unless it returns for a get-together with the goose friends it made, Romaine Creek Estates pond will no longer be a swan lake.

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