Surviving against adversity

It was the middle Summer in the Pacific Northwest. I had spent many hours watching the continuation of life in my yard. Outside my office window, up in the eves over my garage was a little nest built by the Barn Swallows. The little mud nest had been built last Summer and I wonder if they were the same birds who returned to raise this year’s babies. There were five little ones hatched this year and each time I walked to the front of the garage, there was a lot of commotion and chirping with the adult birds zooming around in their frenzied attempt to distract anyone from seeing their precious little ones.
The swooping of the parent birds and the chirping of the babies as their Mother came into view was a delight to watch. They eventually got used to my presence as I would come out to stand and watch their feeding as the parents would swoop in with a seemingly endless supply of bugs and seeds for them to eat. I was amazed to see all of these baby birds grow and never a one was crowded out of this nest, so high over the pavement. That seemed a miracle in itself, and I could not help but wonder at the amazing instincts of these little winged creatures.

But nature is not always kind….
One day as I was walking out my door, I heard all of this commotion and as I proceeded down my sidewalk, this big black bird took flight over my head, crying out. “caw! caw! caw! …..” moving across the street to sit and watch from the rooftop of my neighbor’s house. What a dark and ominous mood was cast by seeing him sitting there! I could see that my Swallows were very upset by his presence and I knew that I would need to help watch out for them. I could not be here all of the time. It did not look hopeful for my little family of birds.
Then one day, As I returned from my errands, I found the nest on the ground, broken and crumbling, with two little feathers to tell me of their fate. My worst fears came to mind. Their little nest had been ravaged by Mr. Nasty Crow. My heart sank as I looked for my little birds, but I found no sign at all that they were here. I walked around the side of my house and into the garden, hoping for a sign of them. I was only greeted by silence and the flight of a Dragon Fly. Sadness filled my heart as I thought of the summer’s work of this little family coming to an end so quickly
But then as I walked slowly back to the front of my house, miraculously there was this joyous flutter and arrival of about a dozen birds, five of them were my little babies. Fortunately, the babies were mature enough to know how to fly. They were now living on the cross piece over my garage, only an arms reach from where their nest used to be. How exciting this was to watch the survival and growth of these little birds, winning against the adversity of nature. Their love for one another and their desire to thrive are what propelled them to survive against that dark force.

I set up my camera on a tripod and watched as the adults continued to feed their young until they were strong enough to be on their own. It was only another week before I did not see the Swallows again. Did they move to a different place or have they migrated south again? I believe they are all together and thriving as Mother Nature intended.
The Swallows will return each year to my neighborhood and at this rate, there will be more every consecutive year. I will have to watch and see if they come back on the same day each year like they do in San Jaun Capistrano. Perhaps my little babies will come back to make a home on my property next summer.

I will be watching for them….

Featured in BITS AND PIECES group ~ 4 October 2009
Featured in WELCOME TO WASHINGTON ~ 11 October 2009
Featured in INSPIRED BY LIFE ~ 30 August 2011

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My little family of baby birds this summer.

323 views ~ 31 August 2011

Cameras and photography captured my interest years ago as a child with my little Brownie. The cameras have changed over the years until the Digital age when I got really serious about photography. Not only has my work improved, but it has opened many doors to meeting wonderful people along the way. New friendships and learning new skills… I am hopeful that some of my best work is yet to come.

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  • BlackSwan
    BlackSwanabout 5 years ago

    What a delightful story Marjie!!! xox

  • Thank you, Leena. One of the greatest highlights this summer.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Jan  Tribe
    Jan Tribeabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful!! what a great story and sends rays of hope to those who have had their nests ravaged around the world. Fantastic capture!!! love this!!

  • Thank you so much!

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Thomas Stevens
    Thomas Stevensabout 5 years ago

    Incredible story! Remind me of my life growing up in a farm and seeing hundreds of Barn Swallows nesting in our barns. Thank you for sharing! I have posted some Barn Swallow pic also. Thank u again!

  • Thank you for your nice comments and i will come and see your photos.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Rhenastarr
    Rhenastarrabout 5 years ago

    A wonderfully warm touching story.

  • Thank you very much. i am glad you liked it.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Bellavista2
    Bellavista2about 5 years ago

    What a beautiful story, I love stuff like this. The survival of Nature is awesome:=}

  • The babies of any species are constantly at risk from predators. It is so good to hear of some of them winning.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Sean Farragher
    Sean Farragherabout 5 years ago

    nice story,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Thank you, Sean.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Susan Vinson
    Susan Vinsonabout 5 years ago

    Love this story, Marjie! ~:)

  • Thank you very much, Sue. I appreciate your comments.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • CrazyCats
    CrazyCatsabout 5 years ago

    Such a delightful story Marjie – thank you for sharing :o)

  • Thank you very much.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Ann Warrenton
    Ann Warrentonabout 5 years ago

  • Thank you so much for the honor of a feature. Some stories we see unfolding in real life inspire us to tell the story. This was one of those times.

    – Marjorie Wallace

  • Barbara Anderson
    Barbara Andersonabout 5 years ago

    very interesting story. love the picture

  • Thank you very much, Barbara.

    – Marjorie Wallace

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