Tuesday 6 May 2014

The globe's still working

A warm, sunny Bank Holiday yesterday, and there I was sitting in the garden with Mrs N, munching a meditative cheese sandwich and listening to the new Willie Watson CD (plain and rootsy, highly recommended) when I briefly glimpsed something in the sky that sent me haring down the garden for a better view. And yes, there it was, circling lazily - a solitary swift, the first of the year! No other 'first' lifts the heart like this one...
 And later, towards evening, there were two more, circling each other, low down over the rooftops, and then another solitary. Summer is here. Or, as Ted Hughes put it, 'the globe’s still working , the Creation’s / Still waking refreshed.'


  1. Yes Nige, they have been here on the Costa del Crime for several weeks along with swallows and martins. I have a favourite cafe in the Serrania de Ronda where I can enjoy a morning cognac and coffee whist looking down - yes down, from the terrace onto the chocolate brown backs of the swifts as they zip past, a few feet below me screaming, feeding and, allegedly, mating in a nanosecond...

  2. Ah how wonderful...
    Don't hang about, do they?

  3. If it was speed you were referring to yes - although a peregrine falcon would make them look like slow-coaches, they seem to do everything at lightening speed - including mating on the wing which I have never knowingly witnessed. Holding one in the palm of my hand a couple of days ago, I pondered what tiny miracles they are. I found the bird lying in an empty plastic bucket inside a first floor utility-room that is open on one side to the elements. My first thought was that it must have zipped through the gap and broken its neck on the facing wall, ending up in the bucket. Reaching down to pick it up, it was clearly alive, warm, and in no particular hurry to leave. It felt about the same weight as a used tea-bag. Stepping out onto the terrace, and dreading the thought of ending its life if it were injured, I simply extended my arm and away it flew with a sharp 'shree'.