Sunday, June 28, 2009



Come back babybird/ With your dirty wings in tatters/ Come home where you belong/ Nobody knows you better/ Now bring back your velvet heart/ And we'll make you brand new feathers/ Sleep through the morning light/ With your arms around your brother

Now outside faces cry/ With the tears of lonesome orphans/ And behind every mask/ is the face of another/ Wherever you have been/ wherever you took cover/ No arms that pulled you in/ could hold you like your mother

When all my colors fade/ And my wings, they've turned to leather/ I'll know the reasons why/ God let me get older/ When all my days are through/ And I fly these hills no longer/ I'll lay beneath the stars/ And I'll watch you flying over

(lyrics by Jakob Dylan, from a hidden track on the Wallflowers CD "Breach")

Yesterday I looked out and saw a fluffy little bird sitting alone on the porch railing. It sat there for a long enough time for me to take a dozen photos. When I downloaded the images to my laptop, I saw that this little one appeared to be a Barn Swallow, rather than one of the Tree Swallows who have been nesting in the birdhouse on my porch.

Soon after that, I saw one of the adult Tree Swallows fly into the birdhouse, which is placed up to the left of the railing. That was followed by the appearance of a smaller swallow face at the opening. Its coloring was unlike that of the fledgling who had been resting on the railing. The young Tree Swallow looked out and around and blinked and then flew in a downward direction. The adult swallow flew out after it. Then the adult swallow flew back into the birdhouse. Another little swallow face appeared at the opening, with the same blinking and looking around and flying downward out of the birdhouse.

If it weren't for the solitary fledgling Barn Swallow, I might not have seen the Tree Swallows fledge.

While I was out walking this morning, I remembered Jakob Dylan's song.


Anonymous said...

great swallow tale. late on response to your last post, but had not thought about danko in conjunction with the sad passing, so aptly described by tsw. nice to have these photos of the new flight. love the white halo at the belly. kjm

mum said...


Yes, this is a barn swallow like the ones we had at the farm. They nested on the eaves of our porch. If the adult tree swallows were doing the same as the barn swallows, they were giving the little ones a small shove in the rump to get them out of the nest.

The barn swallows used to do it all in one movement - swoop down, fly behind the fledgling, give a tiny push and swoop back out to watch the first flight.

Great photos, am. Best from Graulhet.

robin andrea said...

Great lyrics. What a wonderful vision to watch those babies take their first flight.