May 4th–I was just lifting a pile of soiled pine shavings when two barn swallows swoop into the stall. The birds lively chatter says, “we’re back—it’s been a year—the old nest spot above the sliding door is still there—everything’s the same—.”
“Well, actually my friends—it’s not, one of the donkeys is missing, there’s a little goat, there’s two stalls now instead of one big open room. But the divider will give your babies lots more perching room than the horse feeder provided.”
The shavings plop into the bucket; the swallows shoot outside, and Moses the Cheerful trots away and enters the paddock. He plunges toward the remaining spring grass that Ziggy the donkey has missed.
The swallows zoom back and circle around me again, “We checked out the tack room, and one of the three doors is boarded up—the old nests are gone from the hanging lights—we’ll build new ones—the flies, the flies, we’ll look for the flies—” Chatty- chat- chat and they fly out the stall door once again.
From now until October the barn swallows will find many ways to enter the barn. And, I can’t help but smile- these are parents or young who were here breeding last year. Despite all the odds against them, they’ve returned to build their mud nests, and hatch and feed their babies. A sure sign summer is on its way.
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