Recently, I had to photograph a commercial assignment for an apartment property management company in Overland Park, Kansas. The property is beautifully landscaped with trees, flowerbeds and several small ponds. A pair of Mute Swans and several ducks live at the complex.
Whenever I walked along the banks of the water, the male swan would swim beside me followed by the female. I assumed they were both tame because they are surrounded by people and pets at the property. Once, I stepped too close to the pond while trying to frame a shot and the male swam up and bit my toes. I managed to snap a photo before jumping back to the sidewalk. Later, I learned from the residents that the swans are aggressive and very protective of their nearby nest.
I have always thought I would be injured on a more dangerous assignment such as being hit by a foul ball at a baseball game or trampled by a football player who ran out of bounds. So far, I’ve been able to sidestep the line drives and the linebackers. I was unable to sidestep the swan.