They're back and preening in the sunshine of the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan; little scraps on a telephone wire. Flapping blueblack wings have brought them from the southern hemisphere, a hazardous journey of many thousands of miles. Over mountain, desert, plain and ocean - swooping low to swipe an insect feast - and on, and ever on, drawn to a mysterious migratory destination. Here.
Our swallows are back; I am over-joyed, and irrationally, just a little moist eyed. Their arrival might be the stuff of statistics but for me these little things are the essence of spring - and of life and rebirth and affirmation. Make yourselves at home birds. Nest. I wish you well to live here. My kingdom will protect you.
No photographs of course - my camera's eye would only offer you a black spot against a blue sky - could be crow, rook, raven or blackbird. Instead, how about violets and oxalis - as sweet spring flowers as one can find?