What is it about this beautiful place that allows me to find nature's treasures? I am sure that it happens at home in England too, but that my ears and eyes are stopped by the roar of modern life.
I spent an hour today watching the swallows. I blogged about them last time and the spectacle is just getting larger. It is as if all the area's swallow population has descended on our small village, hosts and hosts of them. Sometimes they gather on the phonewires, sometimes in the silver birch by the village cross, and then most spectacular of all are the times when they pirouette over the roofs and orchards. This is freeform flying, they dodge and circle, drop and rise. They skim the surface of the village pond, dipping their wings. I have been here three summers and never seen anything like this.
Salamander came to visit me and as we left the village we had to stop the car by the cross to gaze at the swallow hordes. On the side of one house swallows were dotted presumably clinging to the rough plaster, the telephone wires were like the stems of my neighbour's red currants heavy with little black and white birds, while more far more swirled overhead. We went to the village near Salamander's lake house, it felt quite empty, there were only three or four swallows to be seen.