Last week Donna-The-Chorizo said to me: “When spring finally comes, it will come all in a sudden rush.”
And she was right! Today while I was at market the grass grew four inches. All our fruit trees came out in flower and when I got home, a swallow appeared!
It wasn’t one of mine, they are usually among the last, but it swooped down close in front of me before climbing high and heading north as though acknowledging recognition of an unarmed Englishman in a field.
To get here, all migrant birds have to run the gamut of the mediterranean where every human they see carries a loaded shotgun and will kill any moving creature for no reason at all and I believe they become aware of this and understand the importance of making it safe home to Britain. Tragically this is a lesson hard learnt.
When a group of swallows arrives at its home farm an aerial dance occurs. They clearly recognise their native barns and to judge by their repetitive swooping and chittering they seem to recognise me too. Their reactions are so much faster than mine though. They probably think “There’s that scruffy old fart in the wax coat; that’s odd, he was facing the other way last year.”
My old-fashioned style of farming suits swallows, house-martins and swifts because there is plenty of mud for nest-building and plenty of flies for food. My modern 21st century neighbours probably don’t approve but frankly I have less communion with most of them than I have with the swallows so I am not going to feel inferior or guilty about having a dirty farmyard.
Last year I planted a Comice Pear tree from Charlton Orchards. I ought to pick off all the flower buds this year to concentrate its energy into root production but it seems so determined to procreate that I haven’t the heart to interfere. Instead I am feeding it with liquid manure made from cow dung, seaweed and comfrey and hoping for the best. Possibly It might help if I sang to it. Can anyone suggest any suitable lyrics?
If the grass keeps growing this fast I may be called upon to drive a silage trailer for a week or two so if you need any ready-meals, pies, cakes or desserts, ring my wife Fran at Simply Cooking on 01963 364445 and we will arrange to deliver everything you need.
May God bless the swallows, the flowers, the flies and the dung. They all have the same Creator.