Reflections by Richard Stade - RStade

17. Marianela Nuñez in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake

Artist: Marianela Nuñez in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Performance: Royal Ballet (London), Choregraphers: Marius Petipa & Lev Ivanov Media: Ballet (photgraph)

Comments: Swan Lake was first performed in 1877 in Moscow. The Petipa/Ivanov version of Swan Lake that we consider the "standard" today was in fact created in 1895 after Tchaikovsky’s death and was greatly altered from the original concept. The legend of the Swan-Maiden goes back for centuries, appearing in differing forms in both eastern and western literature. Women who turn into birds and vice versa were popular themes, and the swan was particularly favored due to its grace when swimming in the water. The ancient Greeks considered the swan be to the bird closest to the Muses. When Apollo was born at Delos, the event was celebrated by flights of circling swans.(9)

Photo Copyright: Royal Ballet

18. Great Egret

Ardea alba Size: L 39” WS 51” WT 1.9 oz m>f Location (date): Texas (May) Media: Digital Photograph

Comments: Great Egrets inhabit diverse wetland settings, including small ponds, large lakes, estuaries, and tidal basins. They feed by foraging, primarily by walking slowly through the water and quickly striking with their bill. They also will regularly stand near or over the water and wait for prey. Occasionally, they will, as seen here, grab prey from flight.

Photo Copyright: Richard Stade (2009)