Last month, a pair of barn swallows started building a nest on my back porch, not five feet from my door. I was confused by birds nesting in July, but a garden-and-nature friend of mine informed me that barn swallows will hatch out three clutches in a summer, or more.
I was excited to have swallows nesting at our house, even though my friend warned me that they were messy. We all watched the nest building with interest, and then left town for a family reunion.
When we got back, the babies were hatched out (we've counted four for sure, although one of my girls says she saw five). At first it was a contest to see who could see a baby over the edge of the nest, and watching the parents feed the babies was a fascinating all day activity. We've never had front row seats to this sort of thing before. Now, the babies are big enough you can see their heads above the edge of the nest all the time, and I imagine it's getting crowded in there. It's only a matter of time before they fledge.
I am grateful for the swallows. I feel oddly flattered that they picked our back porch to nest, and pleased that they placed their nest for such conveninet viewing. I am grateful that my almost-three-year-old boy has accepted that nests and baby birds are for watching, not for touching (or aiming at). My friend was right, the swallows are messy, but the mess didn't start until the babies hatched, and it will clean up very easily once they have flown away. Until then, I am enjoying this little chirping miracle while I can.
What are you blessed with today?