Barn Swallows

moon phase Week of 07/21/2002 Favorable days to harvest.

Nature is constantly moving in wondrous ways. The natural cycles complement all living things on earth and through the universe. Barn Swallows

If all is well, new life will come when conditions are perfect. The weather and temperatures will help decide if it's a good day to be born.

The new fawns come late in the spring when the temperatures have warmed. There is now plenty of green cover for them to hide in.

As soon as it's warm enough for insects, the frogs, snakes and toads appear. Nature's cycle has come around at last and spring has provided food for those who slept all winter.

Now is the time that young swallows and chimney swifts take wing. They know from generations of living natural cycles, that now is when mother earth provides for them. The time is perfect. The warm muggy weather may be hard for us humans to deal with but for the young swallows and swifts it means plenty of flying insects just as they are learning to fly and catch their food. These young swallows and swifts may follow along in mid-air, close to the adults who show them how to catch flying insects. Often the young may be fed while they are flying.

Soon the high lines outside the barn will be lined with scores of barn swallows and their nests inside the barn once again are empty.

This is a welcome sight to the farmer who has been overrun by flies and mosquitoes. Eating 1,000 to 2,000 insects each day, these hungry swallows can help a great deal with pest control on the farm.

There are several kinds of swallows that spend the summer here in Wisconsin. Besides the barn swallows, there are cliff, tree, bank and rough-winged swallows. The purple martin is the largest in the swallow family and looks in flight like their smaller cousins. There are few birds who fly with such grace, beauty and speed. I think my favorite of these birds is the lovely barn swallow because its long forked tail seems to add to an already graceful sky dance. Their joyful twitter as they seem to be playing rather than catching food. But then again, maybe it is a game for them.

As the summer passes to fall the insects become more scarce and the insect-eating birds, like the swallows, swifts and martins will migrate south.

And so the cycle continues all of nature's life depend on the harmonious cyclic balance for their existence. All but one, that is. We all know what animal doesn't live by these natural laws, it's us! Instead of complaining about these hot humid summer days, we should consider how important they are to all the living things in the natural world.

Organic Valley's farmers know how important these cyclic changes are and how they benefit the farm and their families. For them the hot weather is just part of what it takes to live shoulder to shoulder with mother nature. She provides for all who learn her lessons and live with the constant changes that naturally come about.

All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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