Really Awfully Hard to Swallow

Barn Swallow Valley

Last weekend we went to a site near our new International White Elephant – er, I mean Airport – where thousands upon thousands of barn swallows put on a display before roosting for the night. One can scarcely believe the size of the swirling black clouds they form. Even with my mobile phone camera I think they would have shown up had it not been that the skies were grey. I must cite that all I have to show is the view from the conservancy site where one gathers to see the exciting sight.

It calls for another visit on a fine evening (before they migrate) and with better equipment.

I started a rhyme on the subject after return, but editing and a million other things have yet again kept me from blogging – until now when I have opted out of a birthday party the kids have been taken to, and can do my own thing for a short while.

Brace yourselves:

One swallow doesn’t make a spring

To wind up or compress –

When thousands do their summer thing,

That’s summ’r-thing else, I guess!


Barn swallows form a swirling cloud,

Appearing as comes night,

But no barn-dancing is allowed –

There’s not a barn in sight!


But with massed aerial display

When dark clouds they all form,

In two ways, one may truly say,

Those swallows do barnstorm!


If there’s one swallow big enough

To squash you to a pulp,

Then what you’d call that feathered tough

Is just a great big gulp?


And so my swallow tale is done,

But as a final fork,

What would you call a little one –

A ‘taste’ or ‘sip’ – in talk?

© Colonialist February 2015 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Birds, Nature, Nonsense verse, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Really Awfully Hard to Swallow

  1. libraschild says:

    Do they still havethose swallow viewings in kzn? Was worried with king shaka that would go


  2. chattinatti says:

    We get them here in Northern Ireland as well. Large swirling flocks of them and they never seem to fly into each other. Beautiful to behold. I almost never have a camera with me when I see them and always in traffic! 🙂


  3. equinoxio21 says:

    Acces to? Sorry. Access the…


  4. equinoxio21 says:

    PS. Hope you can get access to the link I sent you. WordPress does strange things some times!)


  5. equinoxio21 says:

    I braced myself, but there’s nothing a good whisky to swallow (and savour) can’t fix!
    (Thanks for your comments on Gender. Got Virginie all fired up! ha! ha! She does take gender issues very seriously) 🙂
    Take care my friend!


  6. Grannymar says:

    Those murmurations are fascinating. We see them as the birds prepare to fly south before our winter and visit you!


  7. elspethc says:

    Wonderful post and photo – lets me recall memory of such sightings though never I think with such a beautiful backdrop.


  8. Try this one (starlings) I reckon that’s the 6th wonder of the world.


    • colonialist says:

      Thanks for the link – that is a sight remarkably similar to the one we viewed. Only, due to species differences, the individual components of ours were smaller. Interestingly, the formation flying seemed to follow a subtly different choreography.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Asian says:

    I would call it a taste since sip is more commonly used when one refers to liquids and taste and swallow can refer to liquids or solids or any other mush inbetween 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. misswhiplash says:

    I would call it a sip…where have you been..I have missed you and your poetry


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