When we moved here our house had not been lived in for over three years, and our old barn had become a residence of choice for the swallows every spring; with it’s lack of the likelihood of interference from humans, and the abundance of tall trees, and thereby insects our barn was the perfect choice. And then the English came along!
But life was looking out for our swallows because these English have not blocked up the barn (we’d have a job with half the roof missing) we have welcomed the swallows.
So every spring the babies can be heard chirping in the eves, and now they have come to realise that we will not hurt them the swallows no-longer dive bomb us when we go to the barn to move something back into the house (which has been moved to the barn and back, barn and back so many times!)
This winter the barn roof will finally be replaced by H, we hope to save that beautiful old building if possible. But we will ensure that the swallows still have somewhere to stay, they are part of the fabric of this home and all that it entails.
Every summer as we sit in the garden in the early evening we are treated to an aerial display as the swallows teach their young to catch the numerous insects milling about in the air in the late evening sunshine. In fact we get two displays because as the swallows take their young to bed the bats then come out as twilight arrives and take over the second sitting for the insect banquet.
But what has inspired me to write this post is what happened last night. The Indian summer continues and the past few days we have reached temperatures into the late twenties early thirties. After my shower I stood at the bedroom window and watched as the swallows began to gather. We have a collection of phone wires for our community and swallows love phone wires; add to that our trees and the corn in the field and the swallows found their ideal spot to swoop (a collective noun for swallows). It was amazing to watch as they swooped past our window over to the field opposite.
More and more arrived swooping high and low, sitting on the phone wires, just looking at me, as I stood like a mad woman in my pyjamas videoing them. My photos do not do the spectacle justice : they were preparing to say goodbye.
Autumn is here, despite the hot weather, and the Swallows know it is time to start their preparation to leave.
I realised that although they will be back next year it may not be the same swallows, many will die on the arduous journey to Africa and the Sahara; and it again highlighted to me how (to quote George Benson) everything must change, nothing stays the same. It cannot.
I am truly blessed.
Simple things, simple things.
if you want to listen to the fabulous George B singing about change here it is.