Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nesting on a ceiling fan

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow
Barn swallows are more persistent than I am--and, apparently, smarter.  Since I don't have a barn, they have decided to nest on my porch on top of my ceiling fans.

This is especially vexsome since their nests seem to contain mud, which wreaks havoc on the fan innards.

Barn swallow on a shepherd's hook
As a precaution, I had kept the fan running, night and day, for several weeks during what I guessed to be "nesting season."  Apparently, my barn swallows are late-nesters.  Just my luck.  I knew I'd been seeing them perched on the gutters and on the poles around the blueberry bushes.  I'd even seen them swooping under the porch, apparently doing a "home tour" before moving in.

Note to self:  Painting porch ceilings blue--an Southern old trick to fool spiders and wasps into nesting elsewhere--does not work with barn swallows.

So, now they're here.  A nesting pair.

The other day I was feeling a bit puckish and turned on the porch fan while the swallows were away from their roost.  I was quite proud of myself until the swallows began swooping through the porch, trying to gauge the speed of the fan to get to the nest.  Chagrined, I turned off the fan.

Barn swallow nest atop my porch fan
So, I'm running up the white flag for nesting season, sort of.  I'm not abandoning the porch to the barn swallows, but I am hoping for a kind of detente.  When I am actively on the porch, I will run the fan for my own comfort. But when I am not actively on the porch, I will accede to the swallows until the little fledglings have flown the nest.

And then, I will scrape the nest off the top of the fan motor.  A sensible person would devise some sort of guard to prevent the swallows' return.  Most certainly.

But I'm not known to be sensible.

I tend to follow my heart.  I have built my dream house in a terrible economy.  I am trying to make the ancestral land into a working farm again with little to no experience in farming.  I am . . . trying to build a nest on a ceiling fan motor, with the metaphorical blades whirling a perilous pirouette.

So, they're staying, and so am I.  I think they have a lesson to teach me about persistence.

That's it from the farm this muggy morning.  What's happening with you?


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