Two beautiful young swallows have made a nest in the eaves of our log store. It is a very beautiful nest, placed out of reach on the oak cross beam, sheltered beneath the slates and safe from predators. They crafted it very carefully from beak-fulls of mud and are clearly very proud of it. I haven't peeped inside as this is the first year we've had swallows come to live with us and I don't want to frighten them away. They are very protective of their nest though, and the male in particular has a very annoying habit of "buzzing" me as I go to and from the garden. Sometimes he swoops so low that I can actually feel the downdraft from his wings. I wish there was some way I could make them understand that I'm no danger to their young. They also visit me from time to time, sweeping in through the open back door where Ben and Amy like to snooze in the breeze, and pirouetting up through the house, emerging through one of the bedroom windows which are permanently open at this time of year.
Swallows are so much part of summer in this part of Devon - they seem to be everywhere, swooping low over the roads to take insects, then circling high into the sky in an amazing demonstration of aerobatic skill. A large colony spend the summer months in the tumbledown barns over the road, and the air is full of their shrill cries. It's always sad when they start to gather on the telephone wires at the beginning of autumn, but that's a long way off yet.
But in case I forget to post it when September arrives - I hope you enjoy this poem now!