Sunday, February 12, 2012

Harbingers of spring and summer and pest prevention!

What a wild cold weekend this has been. Well, mostly all that water that came down yesterday and now ... there is snow all over and where there isn't snow there is...... ice! so be careful out there. Looking through my photo albums I ran into these ones again, june/july 2011, a lovely warm, buzzy time. Nice to think about when one runs around keeping the woodstove going!

It is way too cold to be a little swallow like this in January or February. Thus it is a good thing that we took these photos  last summer, early on. We saw the swallows come, they were chattering in their very special swallow dialect on the phone lines outside the bedroom window. Talking about their journey from the south, the plans for the summer. The wishes for insects aplenty and peace from the cats.
The peace from the cats was not something they could accomplish on their own accord. I am glad we listened in on their morning conversation, for they had chosen to set up their family spa in the horse barn once again. It happens often, almost every year, but not always is there success of fledglings. Our barn cats are cunning creatures and know exactly where to sit and wait for an unsuspecting teenage swallow to practice flying or how to catch a too busy unsuspecting parent.

A wide board was placed along the top of the closed bottom part of the barn door.
Since Smudge the cat is no longer quite as agile in her 14th year as she used to be - she actually retired from Cirque du Soleil recently - and the inner barn door to the other part of said building was kept closed - the parents flew to and fro with sustenance aplenty and everyone grew and thrived to the best of their ability. And was their ability ever great!

And here is the last little swallow. His/her sibling had left earlier in the day or perhaps the day before and so one little swallow was sitting there, on the edge of the mud and spit construction contemplating whether it was really necessary or perhaps even in his/her best interest to venture out into the world. The parents were flying about outside calling and enticing. And in the end .... this little fellow took off too - out into great blue, green, windy world. The nest is still there and the board is within easy reach should we happen to listen in on another swallow's tale on the phone lines when that time of year returns in a somewhat short little while. Hey, we are already close to lambing! (and since this was prepared a few days ago, I can tell you that.... at lunch today we discovered that Harriett-2 had been busy after breakfast. Two beautiful little ram lambs by her side now, spring is..... just around the corner!)