Gulp! Look who’s here!

Jul 11, 2016 | 1 comment

Above Our Kitchen WindowWhen we left on our little sojourn to the Southwest, there were five swallows’ nests at our house – four belonging to barn swallows and firmly affixed to the walls (and how do they do that anyway?), and one right between the outer and inner west wall of the kitchen.  That one belongs to a family of cliff swallows who return every year.

There were still flurries of building activity on some of those nests in late June when we departed.  Now, there are babies.  Lots and lots of babies!  Some are already learning to fly.  Some, more recently hatched, are just peeping out at the world – all open mouths and impatience.  Did you know that a ‘gulp’ is one of the collective nouns used to describe swallows?  I love that!

Although we can’t see them, Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Swallow’s eggs have obviously hatched, too.  Such a cheeping and peeping just beyond our refrigerator!  We can see the tiny opening in the outer wall where mom and dad swoop in and out on their feeding rounds.  They don’t slow down for a second at the entrance and, though I hold my breath in fearful expectation, they never come in contact with the wall.  How do they do that?

A Slither of Snakes

Snakes in the Grass

The other proliferation we found on our return was the lawn – several feet high in spots and choked with dandelions, buttercups, and clover, all a-bloom.  Colorful but not really recognizable as “lawn.” Not quite a meadow, but definitely growing its way to total conversion.

Yesterday, Nyel mowed.  The clippings (and I used the term loosely) were way too extensive to leave behind so he bagged and dumped them in the field beyond the east fence. On his very first trip, guess what he saw!  A nest of a dozen or so garter snakes out for a sunbath.  I would call it a ‘slither’ of snakes, but I think they are properly called a ‘bed.’  If I had run across them, I think the operable word might have been a ‘gasp’ of snakes.  Or maybe even back to ‘gulp’!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    And some might think that Oysterville is a sleepy village. It’s alive with activity!


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