A lone swallow was spotted yesterday morning sitting on the telegraph wires which cross the lane at the front of the barn. It was the first I'd seen up here and my impatience at the absence of this harbinger of spring was growing. It sat and preened while I watched, content now - if there is one there will be others.
I think later in the day a couple more were seen swooping down the dingle.
Much later a single swallow was found in Chester's bed. Dead. We surmise that it had flown in through the open stable door in the dusk, swooped low and into the maw of the damn dog. I guess he was only doing what any hunting dog does - it's in his job description. It was not harmed in any way, just a little sucked so perhaps the poor scrap died of fright.
I was indescribably saddened by this; all those miles from Africa, 'cross continents and oceans to die on reaching home. Damn your eyes and teeth Chester.
But there is better news:
The Trelystan orchid stands loud and proud. We have counted 4 plants but hope we will spot more amongst the grass in days to come. There's no reason why they shouldn't have survived the winter although I did wonder if they would be buried by the sludge and muck thrown to one side by the various people clearing the lane of snow in December. Now they only need to escape the predations of the various naughty lambs which persist in getting out of whichever field they are in. I don't think Powys Highways gang and the big scary mower will be around until later in the year.
I would say the good outweighs the bad (I'm an incurable optimist). I have my eyes peeled for more swallows and the stable door is now shut. All will be well.