Greater Striped Swallow (Hirundo cucullata syn. Cecropis cucullata)

Maree  Clarkson

Tarlton, South Africa

Artist's Description

Parker Fountain pen, black Quink ink and watercolour in Moleskine Watercolour Nature Journal
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“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty.”
- William Shakespeare
(I never DID understand Shakespeare… this quote is beyond me….)
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My Swallows were late in leaving this year, still saw them around in the middle of May. Now their twitterings that I love to listen to as they swoop over my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) or sit on my Satellite dish are silent. They returned to their old home in the pump house in early September 2010 and I’m always humbled and honoured to think that they choose to return to me after thousands of miles of travelling.
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They managed to rear two babies this season and it was a delight watching the parents teaching them all the sweeping moves over our vast expanse of grassland and it wasn’t long until they too were balancing on the wires strung up in my (open-air) potting shed, which I use to hang flowers for drying, happily calling to one another. It’s always a worry to me, wondering whether the babies will make the long journey safely. And it’s always only the parents returning every year (for the past 5 years now), so I often wonder where the babies head off to…?
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If our summer is exceptionally hot or dry, I leave the hosepipe dripping on an empty piece of ground in the garden and have spent hours watching them gather mud for their nest-building.


18th June 2011 – FEATURED in “Sketching and Drawings”
26th June 2011 – FEATURED in “Mozambique”

Artwork Comments

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