The swallows are gone.

Chicks_swallow

Today the swallows are gone. I’ve watched them with delight all summer as they swoop and dive feeding on all the insects from the fields. This morning, a cold and crisp morning that holds the scent of winter to come in the air, they have departed and my small piece of world is sadder for their loss.

The trees are still clinging tight to their leaves but autumn colours tell me that won’t be for much longer. Twigs and stray leaves float to the ground or are plucked from the branches by eager winds. Fruit still hangs heavy on the boughs of some trees and the hedges are laden with bright berries in lush reds and greens. The season is changing even as I watch.

I’ll miss the swallows and look forward to their return next summer. At the antiques fair I attended last weekend, I saw an enamelled broach of a swallow. I didn’t buy it, but today I wish I had.

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8 thoughts on “The swallows are gone.

  1. here on Hilton Head fall is crisp in the morning air as well. The leaves need one more cold snap to turn, and the dogs are laying in the sun much of the day. A week ago, it was still too warm. Happy fall, Y’all

  2. so sad and beautiful. We don’t have swalows, we have godwits which fly here in the spring from the Russian Steppes. (via Japan and other places on their way south) then they leave us in the autumn and head back to Russia. They have put tracking devices on some in the last few years to track their migration. Where do your swallows go??

    • Hi Virginnia, thanks for teh comment. In answer to you question, British Swallows spend their winters in South Africa. They go through western France across the Pyrenees, and then to eastern Spain were they enter Morocco, then across the Sahara. Some birds avoid the Sahara by following the west coast of Africa. They are such tiny little creatures to make such a vast journey it truly is astonishing. Many pairs had two clutches of young this year as the weather was so good. Some of the last set of nestlings are only weeks old as they begin to make this treck across the world.

    • Thanks for commenting, Mae Clair. I don’t know about the poetry but every year when the swallows leave its rather sad. There is a whole winter to get through before we see them again. The first swallow I see in summer always lifts my spirits.

  3. This is quite beautiful, I can see it through your description as clearly as if I were there. As an ex-pat now living on the other side of the world, you reminded me of home 🙂 xoxo

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