In the late Spring, in one of the surest signs of the looming Summer season, the swallows return to the Village of Nyack, NY.
As if by magic, one day, by the millions, they appear. And, I always hear their cacophony long before I actually see them.
Walking in town, down Broadway, with their loud clicks and squawks signaling their presence, I looked up to see hundreds of them darting and diving around one of the old church steeples. They fly like demons, making a resounding racket that is inconsistent with their diminutive size. I have always likened them to lightening fast fighter jets, sighting and then quickly attacking their prey.
They nest in the old church steeples and high in the mighty Palisades that frame Nyack and the surrounding communities along the Hudson River from Fort Lee, NJ to Beacon, NY and beyond. The Hudson provides a ready supply of the insects that form the swallows' diet. So, they are useful. But, they are also beautiful. Many species have such brightly colored plumage as to seem iridescent!
This year's Spring weather has been so gloomy as to be down-right depressing. I know that I was feeling it and that I was not alone. After a long Winter, we look forward to the temperance of the Spring. Well, after a few teasing days, it just never seemed to arrive - until one day when the sun came out AND the swallows appeared.
As I looked up, I smiled broadly. My dark mood instantly disappeared. The swallows have returned. There WILL be Summer. All was right with the world. Thanks to the swallows for reminding me. :)