Friday, April 30, 2010

Easy to Swallow







































This evening as we were out driving around, we happened upon these tree swallows mating. Luckily for me, they seemed too focused on their romance to mind my snapping. The female will now fly off and build her nest, with the male helping to collect feathers for it. She will lay between four and seven eggs, which should hatch about two weeks later. Both the male and female will take care of the young till they leave the nest. And it is true about the swallows returning to Capistrano every year! Pat Boone even sings a song about it, which you can find on YouTube. Every year, the swallows leave their wintering spot in Argentina and fly 6,ooo miles away, to a mission in San Juan, California. They always arrive on or very near March 19, to the ringing of the church bells, visitors from all over the world, a parade, and many other festivities. They always return to the same eaves at the mission. Legend has it that many years ago, the swallows took refuge in the mission from a mean innkeeper who destroyed their nests. So they return every spring knowing they will be protected. And in fact, the city has passed an ordinance making it illegal to destroy their nests. Smart birds, nesting in a place near the altar of God.


"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you." Psalm 84:3,4

8 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wooooooo Ginny.... You were in the right place at the right time!!!! Great pictures of the swallows... Obviously, they weren't watching YOU....

Great pictures ---and a reminder of that song by Pat Boone.... Thanks for sharing...

Great post.
Hugs,
Betsy

SquirrelQueen said...

Wow, great shots Ginny. Like Betsy said, you were in the right place at the perfect time.

Maybe the sweet couple will bring their little one to see you when they are old enough.

DawnTreader said...

Ginny, these pictures are awesome! I'm sure there are nature photographers hanging around some place for days just in the hope of getting shots like these, and you just "happen" to catch them ;)

Interesting about those swallows returning to the mission, too. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn't it, if they too manage to pass on to new generations some sort of sense of "why". - "Mum, why are we making this long trip?" - "Well, once upon a time..."

Sandra said...

to save time, i will say ditto to DawnTreader and Besty's remarks. awesome photos Ginny. it is to funny, i did the flight of the butterfly and you did the flight of the sparrow. great minds are still thinking alike. wait until you see how similar our post is.

From the Kitchen said...

This is a wonderful treat to see! Thanks, Ginny!

Best,
Bonnie

Kilauea Poetry said...

These are really fantastic captures Ginny- super lovely enlarged! Lucky you..to of had your camera ready! I'm sure they could of cared less!
Beautiful-

George said...

These are wonderful pictures, Ginny. But I must admit that I never thought of you as a Peeping Tom!!

Bird Girl said...

Ginny!!! What a fantastic job you did with these pictures!!! Aren't they the most animated little birdies you ever did see? That was a fun post and bravo on your camera work catching that action, girl!
Love the picture in your header, too!