Daily Archives: July 24, 2011

Photo of sketch of birdhouse

Empty Nest

Photo of sketch of birdhouse

"Vacancy" ink and colored pencil sketch by Kerry McFall

The baby swallows flew yesterday.  As we worked in the garden all morning, they cheeped insistently, poking their little smooth heads out, flirting with us, black bead eyes sparkling intelligently.  “He’s flying!” my husband gasped.  And suddenly there were three birds above us, swooping and diving.  Then a heartbeat later, four as the second baby took wing. 

We stood there grinning like fools, watching as they did barrel rolls above the rooftops.  Those little daredevils had been out of the confines of the birdhouse for five minutes and already they were doing things that amazed us.  How DO they do that?  How do they know how…? And where do they go now? 

I thought for sure they would come back at night to rest.  But no.  The little house is quiet today, just a lonely little trickle of dried poop showing that they were ever there.  Reminds me of the stuff left in my own kids’ rooms after they went off to college…

One of the side panels  of the house swings out for cleaning – I couldn’t resist opening it stealthily just to peek in after they left.  Inside was the expected dried grass and twigs, but also several huge fluffy chicken feathers!  A feather bed for the babies – how appropriate.  I don’t think I’ll clean it out just yet.