Storm Jake, the 10thof the year, was intense and short as it passed over downtown Asdee last night. I had noticed the gulls flying inland and resting on the fields yesterday as if they sensed what was coming. When we put any food out for the small birds the crows gather and swoop down. They know exactly what they want with their sharp vision and claws. The magpies are the only birds that hold their ground with them. Then they rest on bare ash trees to digest and view with an air of superiority.
Yesterday I saw them starting to build their nests or reconstructing the old ruins of nests. It was said that one could forecast the years weather by where they build their nests on the tree tops. If they built them deep within the tree they were anticipating bad weather, whereas if they built high in the tree they anticipated a good year weather wise. Who knows what they know? What homing device brings the swallows back from the South of Africa to our sheds?
I I remember visiting the late John O Donohue in Carron in North Clare. Outside the kitchen window was a rookery that fascinated him. He went on to write a memorable poem about their nest building. He saw how they took broken twigs and various disgarded pieces, wove them together into a safe, secure birthing space for their young. In the same way we have various life experiences, broken off negative stuff perhaps, that we can reuse and weave into a safe soul space. He said it better than that in a great poem and I feel John’s thought form now as I watch the birds begin their annual ritual despite storms and a late Spring.