For the last several years,
a barn swallow family has returned to the nest built into the rafters of our barn.
Each spring, the parents buttress the original nest, making it bigger and stronger.
They've added additions to the point that there is barely any room left at the top of the nest
for entering and exiting.
Not to mention the fact that...
now as the babies are reaching full maturity,
the nest is practically overflowing with feathered appendages.
The barn and the dry lot are a constant flurry of swallow activity...
with swallows swooping and diving as they flit and float through the air,
catching insects in their beaks.
For this reason, I love barn swallows.
The cats, however, have a rather tumultuous relationship with the swallows.
From time to time I find swallow remains...
what's leftover when a swallow flies just a bit too close to one of the "rafter" cats.
On the other hand, there are days when, for the barn cats,
walking through the dry lot becomes a swallow gauntlet,
with these agile fliers swooping down from above,
as they loudly voice their disapproval of all feline activity.
Swallows and horses get along just fine.
The swallows recognize that the horses are no threat.
In preparation for the past weekend's heatwave,
Hubbs installed another fan in one of the barn stalls...
not the one occupied by our overcrowded barn swallow nest.
I do believe the horses appreciated the extra fan,
as they spent their days lounging in front of it.
(All grazing takes place at night in the cooler, bug-free pastures.)
This weekend was unbelievably hot.
We did all that we could to help keep the animals cool...
plenty of fresh, cool water and shade.
Luckily, we had the foresight years ago to plant trees in areas that were bare,
such as around our chicken and turkey yards.
Those trees are now almost fully grown...
supplying lots of shade for our birds.
Both the new and old ducks spent most of the weekend in their pools...
separate, of course.
(They all hop out as soon as they see me, of course!)
If I had to predict the future,
I see the older runner ducks taking off on their adventures around the farm,
with the younger ducks in tow....
perhaps never assimilated into one big group, but maybe two subgroups
that coexist in each other's orbit.
Time will tell.
As for me, Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent
at swim meets.
Tyler has always been a fish...
but this summer he is putting his love of swimming to good use
by joining the swim team.
Swimming was my only competitive sport, so I am just tickled that he is competing.
(And doing pretty well for having just started!)
As for the rest of the weekend,
I stayed indoors as much as possible, and did a bit of sewing.
This lined, zippered tote bag was Saturday's project.
(Redwood Tote by Noodlehead Patterns)
(It's never too early to start planning for next Christmas!)