Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Nursery (SWF)


Soft morning light filters through the sheer curtain--
lace doilies hung to soften the harsh wood of the beams above,



and the sweet smell of hay, bales stacked in wait.
The pastures beyond the barn,
now lush and lively and green.

This cozy room, with its low, whitewashed ceiling and several east-facing windows, is home to our herd of goats, growing smaller each year. Its few elderly members continue their contented existence--trimming the fence lines, chewing their cuds, reclining in spring warmth beside an overgrown cinder block “mountain,” once easily bounded up and over, now best for scratching the itch of winter’s wool.
Barn Swallows build here each spring, nests of mud and straw, firmly plastered to the beams, inches below the white ceiling, and facing the morning light.
Trimmed with long, graceful feather blankets, they appear empty--until I cross before the wall of windows, my shadow creeping over the room.


Five wavering heads rise in silence and thrust orange mouths forward to greet the expected offering of food—
but it is only I.




Barn Swallow nestlings

And so, the lazy slumber reclaims them.




Mother waits outside until the chores are finished here,
watching, through the windowpane, ready.


Her shadow enters and nudges them to wake.
Then she is gone again to the sky.



See more Skywatch here.
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more Camera Critters are here.

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42 comments:

onangelwings said...

Those are some impressive webs. Love baby bird faces peering out of the nest. Cute!
http://reesspace.blogspot.com/2009/06/abc-is-veiny.html

Wren said...

Delightful, Nina. I love barn swallows, and you've caught these at their cutest.

Guy D said...

Fascinating shots Nina, the last one is my favourite looking through the window.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Nestlings always look so pouty to me. Always hungry, big mouths always seeming to say MORE.

fourwindsphotojournal said...

I have to say first, I love that old house. What sweet babies and what a hard working mama.

bowledover said...

Lovely sequence pictures you have shared with us. I love them and all the textures you have captured here.
Mind did you see the baby Swallow winking at you.

Ginnymo said...

What a neat old place. I love how those webs look and the baby birds are so cute. You sure got some great shots of them!!! I love how you write Nina!! Did I ever tell you that I have a daughter named Nina?? Yep!

SandyCarlson said...

Astounding. Beautiful. Poetic. Perfect

erin said...

beautiful commentary accompanying the lovely photographs...the swallows are soo sweet in their nest(s).

Anne said...

One of the most stunning and beautiful pictures I have ever ever seen :-))

Nice weekend from Anne in Norway.

Lynn said...

I love those old window photos!

Martha Z said...

All wonderful photos. The baby swallows are great. We have a pair nesting in the nest box and they sure don't like it when I am working close by. Much more shy than the blue birds.

bobbie said...

Lovely little swallows! And the lace curtains are very elegant.

Michelle Johnson said...

Beautifully written with some great shots. The 5th picture from the bottom appears to have a winking barn swallow in its nest. My favorite, of course. Have a great night.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love the photos of the swallows...so cute...and your text is always interesting... Really like your blog layout also, I tried to change mine today ....Lovely Sky Watch.... have a great weekend.... cheers

J Bar said...

I like the glimpses through the window.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, so beautiful, both words and photos. How I like the view out the window!

Heather said...

Those babies are too precious. What a lovely series. Sorry to hear that your goat herd is diminishing.

NCmountainwoman said...

I love those little clown-faced swallows. And I marvel at the construction of those sturdy nests built one mouthful of mud at a time. Lovely photographs. I like your barn.

Tara R. said...

Amazing shots of the baby chicks and nest. The last photo is gorgeous.

Karen said...

Wonderful shots and I love your words that go with them.

Those birds are so cute with their little face, beaks wide open, peeking over the edge of the nest..

Great post !! :-)

Carolyn said...

Absolutely lovely post and amazing photographs. Thank you so much for sharing...I am awestruck!
Blessings and smiles

Eric(NL) said...

Love the seethrough window picture, nice clouds, good compo!!

Have a nice SWF

GReetings from NL

Appalachian Lady said...

I love the photos of the barn with the nest--and the text helps to convey a wonderful story. Great post!

wncmountainliving said...

Enjoyed the series - especially the baby birds in the nest. great cobwebs!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Great post. The shots are amazing. I've only had a bird's nest in my yard once. It's so cool!

Kerri said...

Wonderful post Nina....makes me heart sing!

deejbrown said...

I fell into the music of your writing and the meditation of your photographs. Life, watching and moving on. Thank you.

KGMom said...

Love those baby swallows. I love the way their little beaks are on auto-pilot.

Robin said...

There has never been a better photo of disappointment than the one you captured.

I feel his pain.

Thanks!

(Or not.....)

Robin said...

There has never been a better photo of disappointment than the one you captured.

I feel his pain.

Thanks!

(Or not.....)

Ratty said...

This was such a relaxing story. It made for a nice easy tour through your pictures. I love it.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I used to avoid catching photos of the dingy window glass or spidery interiors of the old barn--an indictment of our less-than-fussy housekeeping skills. But, it seems to create a space, safe and quiet, that is nesting birds' choice for their young.
And, these faces are welcome here any time!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Most would look at that missing pane and see a broken window -- but for momma bird its an open door ... Good eye as usual.

Rachel Aramith said...

Love the photos, especially the birds. I have a nest just like that with three chicks above my front door (aww). I have been using the garage till they are gone!

Luna said...

Fantastic place and amazing shots!
Thanks for sharing!
purrs and love

Luna(from Brazil)

i beati said...

pretty group - even the nest is artistic sandy

Susan said...

Totally awesome shots- you are so lucky! I really enjoyed this! Thanks...

Joy said...

What a fantastic photo story!

Dianne said...

the babies with their little mouths wide open are so sweet

Ladynred said...

These are beautiful shots.

Deborah Godin said...

Every bit of this, from the window-sky shots to the baby birds - everything all beautifully photographed and artfully written. You have one of the finest nature blogs out the in the blogiverse!