These gorgeous babies were all fluff and gigantic mouths which the parents spent all day filling! We have some great shots of the babies in the nest but they are on my other camera and I can't seem to locate the cord to transfer them onto the computer....so we'll all have to wait....anyway where was I...oh that's right - yesterday the boys and I were sitting on the balcony eating lunch when one of the babies emerged 'on wing'!!! It was soooooo exciting - we all watched eyeswidetryingnototmoveamuscle...You need to understand these birds have become part of the family - we have been privy to their whole journey from whoa to, finally yesterday - GO!
The small swallow (maybe a teenager by now?) flew in short bursts from nest to fence where it sat panting for a minute while it's parents obviously gave it a flying 'demo' and then urged it to come with them for a spot of winged action. They all flew together and such joy I have rarely felt beholding this feathered family taking it's deeply genetic and loving steps in life. But then...wait for it....after the teenager had sat on the wire for a bit to regain it's composure (and maybe check it's hair or squeeze a zit), the parents flew around it hassling it to go off on it's own! And after it did, they took off, back to the everyday swallow duties of collecting food and catching up for coffee. :)
I saw lots of metaphors for human parenting in this whole adventure with the swallows. We really are no different. We work hard for our kids, we nurture, protect and provide for them when they need all their energy for growing, we help them learn by showing them how to do stuff and involving them in our activities, and then we trust in them to live well. I saw no swallow school anywhere in this equation.....this photo is of the teen chillin' in between flying lessons....and I have to say, that whole part about me trying to find the right terms is quite funny when you realise that I have written 'sparrow' in this post's title. Dur.