It's late August and I don't expect to be mowing overgrown pastures--and I certainly don't expect to have guests.
But as I mow during this unusually wet and cool summer, my favorite birds arrive. First there are a few, and within minutes a dozen barn swallows are swooping in front of me, behind me, around me, gobbling up the insects that the mower stirs up.
I try to capture them with my camera, but they are quick, darting in and out of view. And soon I give up, and just enjoy their orange-tinted breasts, their petite frames, their forked tails. Their moves are kinds that stunt pilots try to replicate--and can't.
Any day now, the swallows will gather and leave, flying South to where the weather is warmer and the insects plentiful during the fall and winter months.
But on this late August day, they are still here--and so I mow and mow, listening to the diesel engine, the blades cutting grass, and reveling in being a small part of their aerial acrobatic show.