Sunday, June 15, 2008

Annual houseguests

I LOVE our front porch, which is a partial wraparound. It was one of the things on my wishlist when we were looking for a house down here.

Someone else that loves my porch is the barn swallows. Every year for several years now, two pairs come in spring and raise a new group of babies, one "family" in each of the front corners of the porch. This year both pairs had "bumper crops" -- I counted seven or eight in one nest and eight or nine in the other -- they sure have been crammed in tightly in those relatively small nests! Right now they are perfecting their flying skills, and the first ones into the nest at night get the prime spot...and the rest have to perch on the ledge all night!
It's fun to watch the parents revamp the nest when they first arrive, then lay their eggs, and it's especially fun when the babies hatch, to watch them go from featherless, ugly little things to lovely, mature birds. It's a pain to get dive-bombed every time I step out the front door (they are very protective of their nests!), and it's a pain to have swallow poop all over the porch floor and railing under the nests, but it's worth both of those things for the joy of watching the cycle of new life that happens just as God designed it!

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