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Summer Swallows


Summer Swallows - Cameos of Bird Life #13

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Swallows were everywhere, over the house, and over the meadows; to and fro, to and fro; rebuilding their nests tucked under the rafters of the disused barn across the way ...

returning swallows
... flutter in-and-out
the broken window

Midsummer has come and gone, the pink and white petals of June roses fallen by the wayside, replaced by blackberry blossom and the yellow tubes of honeysuckle. Hay bales lie scattered around the field; the scent of new-mown hay lingering. Hawkweeds, thistle, Foxglove, Meadowsweet and Willowherb colour the headlands.

swallow swoop
between the bales ...
distant thunder

So here we are nearing the end of July, their fledglings flown, the swallow are already gathering on the roofs and nearby telegraph wires. Summer is almost over.

But for now a long cold drink, a good book and some great music, while listening to the swallows twittering in the background. Take your time it’s quite a long piece ...

Out of Africa by John Barry


A musical whim that came to me while drafting the text. But unlike the author of the book, Karen Blixen in real life, the swallows return year after year.

Artist Credit

The header image is of a linocut-print ‘Thistledown Swallows’ by Niki Bowers.

Niki studied at Great Yarmouth College of Art, followed by a BA(Hons) degree at Canterbury College of Art. As a graphic designer, she worked for design consultancies across the UK before returning to Norfolk to pursue a freelance career and later turning to printmaking.

Her limited edition linocut prints reflect the landscape and wildlife of rural Norfolk, with distinctive trees, hedgerows, wide skies and often feature swirling flocks of wild birds.

Audio Citation

The recording by Bodo Sonnenburg, is used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs4.0 license. This and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto a website dedicated to sharing bird sounds from all over the world.

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July 17, 2021 10:11 pm

My friend, you have outdone yourself here. Thank you. A real pleasure.

July 18, 2021 5:11 pm

I love that art and those words!

July 18, 2021 6:23 pm

Hello Clive, oh this is such a wonderful post! Your lovely verses, the glorious music and another fabulous artist (thanks for the link). The swallows print is exceptional: just like the birds, it’s fun and exciting! You deserve a 10+ for this post.🙋‍♂️

July 23, 2021 6:41 am

Outstanding art, recording, prose, and haiku, Clive! I converted one to a hokku, which I transplanted into the Garden! Thanks, so much, for your contributions! I really enjoy them.

July 23, 2021 6:43 am

[…] This summer hokku about returning swallows was written by Clive Bennett. […]

Philip Strange
July 25, 2021 3:25 pm

It’s a lovely picture that captures the essence of the birds so well!

Clare Pooley
Clare Pooley
July 27, 2021 12:50 am

We have had no swallows here for five years. The house martins have been gone for three years and the swifts have been absent longer than the swallows. Friends of ours a mile away have swallows nesting in their barn so they haven’t disappeared completely. Thanks for this lovely post, Clive.

Cynthia Reyes
August 12, 2021 4:56 am

In winter, when I can no longer hear the birds, I must return to this particular recording of their sounds. Thanks for sharing.