Like the swallow so proud and free

I’ve discovered right now that the italian proverb “una rondine non fa primavera” is translated into English as “one Swallow does not make a summer”. Amazing! For us this migratory species, arriving from its wintering grounds in Africa, annouces the arrival of spring. It’s an elegant, long-tailed bird that appears to be black and white if you look at it from a distance. But if you see it close up, you could catch its blue plumage. And, if you are lucky, you can see its red throat and forehead.

A swallow

A swallow and its amazing blue plumage

Swallow with mud

A swallow with the mud for the nest

This species is a well known symbol of freedom, with its flight, fast, powerful and really graceful. Once more abundant and spread aboveall in farmland, the swallow can now be seen in the urban environment too. In springtime it’s possible to find the pairs collecting mud for the nest, together with the related species, the House Martin.

House martin

House martins collecting mud

And when I see them flying they always remind me of the verse of the Jewish folk song performed by  Joan Baez among others.

“Who told you a calf to be?

Why don’t you have wings to fly with

Like the swallow so proud and free?”

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