Outside My Window: A Friendly Face

May 9, 2013 | 1 comment

Out Our Kitchen Window

Out Our Kitchen Window

Just outside my kitchen window is a large thermometer; I can see at a glance what the outside temperature is.  A swallow often sits atop that thermometer watching me at work inside.  She (or he?) lets me get up close enough to actually touch the glass, cocking her head in curiosity and chirping about her day.

The window looks out on a small back porch.  It has never been used by any of the Espy Family as far as I know – certainly not in the years since my folks put on an addition to the house which took up most of the erstwhile ‘kitchen garden.’  I think it has been ten or twenty or maybe even thirty years since the porch was appropriated by the Swallow Family,

For as long as I have taken note of the goings-on out that window, there has been a nest up in the corner where the porch roof attaches to the house.  Some years, when Nyel hasn’t paid good attention, there have actually been two or three additional nests – a regular apartment complex – but the residents are pretty messy and in recent years Nyel has drawn the line at a single dwelling.

I can stand at my sink and watch Mr. and Mrs. Swallow refurbish their nest each April.  I’m not just sure when Mrs. Swallow lays her eggs and the parents begin their shared incubating duties but I can certainly testify that raising the little ones is a team effort.  There is a convenient beam underneath the porch roof where Mom and Pop Swallow take turns resting between their food-gathering forays.  And it is during their resting times that they sometimes fly over to the thermometer to see what we are up to beyond the glass.

Yesterday I asked my little kitchen voyeur if she was the Mrs. (or Mr.?) of the household last year, too, or was she perhaps the next generation, all grown up and taking over the family residence.  I don’t know how nesting works among swallows.  Is it every pair for themselves each spring when they return to Oysterville?  Do they snoop around the eaves and overhangs of our houses to find a not-yet-occupied nest?  Or do they go right back to the house they had last year?  And how does inheritance work?

Of course, no answers to my questions were forthcoming.  Or maybe there wss a full explanation, if I could only have understood the friendly chirps.  No matter, though.  I enjoy the companionship and it is enough that my avian friend(s) seems enjoy our visits, as well.  It’s never lonely in Oysterville…

1 Comment

  1. Nancy

    This could be my favorite, so far, for 2013. Your posts about the chickens usually get all of my votes, but having seen both the nest and the birds in past years, I give today’s blog an all feathers a’flutter vote!


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