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Time Flies, and Swallows Too

June 19th, 2009

Whew! It’s been so hot the last couple of days that you walk around with a wet shirt on from sweating so much.  It was time to cut the grass again, take care of some poison ivy around the forest edges and a host of other good stuff.  One advantage of keeping the grass cut is that it seems to reduce the tick and chigger population around the house.  Or as the young one calls ’em, “chicks and tiggers!” 

As the sun rose this morning, the light filtered through the trees- lighting up a patch of day lilies on the property line.  They lilies have not opened yet for the day, but I really like their bright orange coloration.  Next to the day lily patch a few white stones are stacked up to mark Sparky’s grave. 

morning-grass-and-lilies

When I was out early this morning the air was cool, and the scene above just stood out in the light.  It looked nice so I captured a quick shot. After I was looking through the pictures, I was amazed to realize that exactly a year ago this week we put Sparky down at the vet,  after a coyote or a fox nearly killed him, (or well, mortally wounded him).

Sparky was a one-of-a-kind cat that we all loved, more like a dog really, and one of those animals you always remember.  He would jump into my lap while I was on the tractor, and follow me around while I worked.  The young boy would carry him everywhere and Sparky gladly went along.  He didn’t hunt much of anything, but had a good life, happy and carefree, and wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else but outside.  He used to love playing on the pond ice in winter- one time racing all around chasing a little chunk.  Another time he actually fell into the pond!

We buried him under the oak tree above, next to the day lilies.  If you ever wanted to see a picture of a cat walking side-by-side with a dog, here’s your chance! 

I wrote a little remembrance of Sparky in Ode to a Cat

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The long awaited day for the barn swallows has arrived as they have begun leaving the nest.  This year I was amazed to see five fledgling barn swallows in the little mud nest above the garage light.  How do they all fit in there?!  Once the first one leaves, the rest all follow within 24 hours or so.  I took this photo last night, and this morning there are only three in the nest.

barn-swallows

Oddly, I have never actually seen a fledgling barn swallow leave the nest.  One of those mysteries of life- perhaps the adults have some type of call or something that induces the young birds to leave, maybe very early in the morning?  The birds probably make sure no animals or people are around.  Still, I’d love to see one fly for the first time.



6 Responses to “Time Flies, and Swallows Too”

  1. pamelaon 19 Jun 2009 at 12:48 pm

    The poem and marker are lovely tributes to your friend. I’m sorry he had to go in such a manner.
    But barn swallows…..how could their little faces not bring cheer. We always have nests of them in the barn; one is always placed above the beauty parlor section. Their pitifully hungry glances have a way of speeding along the grooming.

  2. Ronon 19 Jun 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Chickens will help with the tigger problem too. Although I got a nice seed tick on my toe today, of all places. :)

    Ron

  3. R. Shermanon 20 Jun 2009 at 11:09 am

    We always had cats growing up. My mom and dad insisted they remain outside, because they kept the snakes, ground squirrels and mice away, which seemed to be true. Every so often they’d roll up with something in their mouths and deposit it on the porch, including a copperhead once. Yet, coyotes and/or foxes were our nemeses for the cats, as well. I’m sorry yours had to go that way.

  4. Beauon 20 Jun 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Pamela- Thanks! I’m wondering if the barn swallows will try to keep building more nests… that must be neat to see in your barn. There’s something about them- that’s funny that they seem to watch you.
     
    Ron- I’ll bet chickens really help a lot. Your toe?! That’s a lot better than the “other” places they seem to end up!
     
    R.- They do so much good around a country home and outbuildings. Of course many folks shudder at the thought of leaving a cat outside, but they really love being outdoors. A copperhead? Wow… I’ve seen birds, mice and moles, but not snakes yet!

  5. Sageon 20 Jun 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Morning light and air is always the best! Great shot of the birds

  6. Ed Abbeyon 21 Jun 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I’m always amazed at how brutal the first hot humid day seems and it was only 90. In late summer when we get those days regularly, it will seem like nothing at all. I wish i could save that acclimatization up from year to year.

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