Birds on the Balcony: silhouettes in symphony

it is on the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind

With the run of warm dry weather broken, we moved from gentle rain to heavy rain to thick cloud.  A brooding, oppressive sort of day.  The colour of this day was gunmetal grey.

I spent an hour or two outside and some gardening was achieved.  As the afternoon waned I straightened up, stretching my back – and watched a small shape disappear into a hole in the fascia with a wiggling worm in its beak.  We may not have swallows nesting in the garage but we do have sparrows nesting in the eaves.  That made me smile.

And just a moment or two later, another stretch, another glance skyward.  Seemingly motionless in the granite-heavy air was the silhouette of a buzzard.  Perfect.


As I stood in silent appreciation, the vignette expanded.  Further, tiny silhouettes – the swallows were come.



Perhaps half a dozen tiny, whirring shapes: whirling and swirling around the ponderous centerpiece.  They were at different altitudes of course, but it looked for all the world as if the miniature swallows were circling – adorning – the prodigious buzzard: a circlet of acrobatic agility and grace around the mighty predator.


It was fleeting and it was stunning.  The contrasts in size, in movement, in flight pattern were superb.  Shades of grey against grey and in perfect harmony.

Beauty can be found in the unlikeliest of moments and within the unlikeliest of colour palettes.



“…it is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star;

it is on the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind;

… it is the poetry of nature;

it is this which uplifts the spirit within us.”

John Ruskin


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