Saturday, February 21, 2009

swallows first

Perhaps the Bard got it wrong. (See yesterday's post.) The daffodils did not beat the swallows this year.

My friend Ted Bays lives on the French Broad River with over 30 bluebird boxes in the fields around his home. He reports to me that the tree swallows were back flying around the nest boxes on February 10. That's before the daffodils showed their bright yellow faces.

Tree swallows are called such because they nest in hollow trees but they will readily use these boxes instead, in fact, Ted gets more nesting swallows than bluebirds.

Historically, they didn’t nest in East Tennessee and have only been doing so since the late 1960s. Like our economy, there’s an ebb and flow to nature and these metallic blue swallows are flowing: expanding their range into the Tennessee Valley. Their population here has been growing ever since the Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper's." (Could the two events somehow be connected?)

And with their return to the valley, can spring be far behind?

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