Life isn't always as we plan it. This mama swallow and her mate worked for 2 weeks building this nest. Mouthful by mouthful, the mud drops built up reinforced with bits of dried grass. The nest was built in exactly the same place as the year before, and the year before that and probably for the last 10 years that this building has been here. We've lived here for 3 seasons now and somehow, each summer they build within an inch of where the previous years nest had been. Even though the nest had been cleared away, they knew just where to build. Safely tucked away under the roof of the porch above, they'd have their family and life would go on as before.
Until this year. When the rains came this year, they just didn't seem to stop for very long. And when they did stop, the air was heavy with dense humidity. Everything seemed ok for the swallows. Lots of rain meant more bugs to eat. We watched them feeding in the evenings, admiring their graceful, swooping and soaring flight. Each feeding in turn, assuring the nest was protected at all times. I took this shot just as Mama was setteling in for the night. She'd gotten so use to us, she didn't even care. I have read that swallows mate for life and the same pair will return to the nesting grounds. Who know what they thought of us, but we certianly enjoyed their presence.
The day after I shot this photo, the nest slid to the ground, smashing the four tiny eggs to bits. The adults kept flying in and darting out. They seemed confused by the disaster. I can relate. I think most of us can. Who hasn't had an unexpected event turn their world upside down? One minute life is going along just as you planned and in the next, you are reeling in reaction to the fact that life will never again be as it was. And what do you do from here?
Well, if you're a swallow, you pick up a mouthful of mud and you spit it at the underside of a porch and then you fly off and get another. And then another and another because to stand still is death. And life goes on. And so must we all.