Maybe Lulu heard the nest fall, or saw it. Something made her go back to the pole barn by herself this morning. It’s a rare thing for Fanny and Lulu not to be together, but this time, Fanny didn’t follow her.
When I got back to the pole barn a few minutes later, Lulu was eating the fallen nest, which was mostly made of hay and old leaves. It was the Starling’s nest that I wrote about a few weeks ago. The one that had been built on top of the barn swallow nest.
Last week I found two dead, featherless, baby birds under the nest in the pole barn. Both times I was surprised how intact they were, as if the sheep and donkeys purposely avoided them.
Lulu finished eating and moved on. There was not a piece of hay or leaf in sight. But there was a gray feather and a small, brown, speckled egg.
A Barn Swallow’s egg.
It was whole, about the size of a penny, obviously abandoned when the Starling took over the nest. It had fallen from a height of at least 15 feet and then Lulu had carefully eaten around it, without breaking it.
It makes me think that there’s so much nature happening right in our barn, domestic and wild. And this is only the stuff I’m seeing. I can’t even begin to image all that goes on that I don’t see.
Between the insects and the animals, there are life and death dramas going on constantly.
Last week I nestled the dead baby birds in the weeds growing around the apple tree. Today I tucked the Barn Swallow egg in the Sedum ground cover on the edge of my garden.
By doing this I become a small part of the story. By observing it, and caring enough to tell that story, I become a witness.
It doesn’t change anything, but still, I feel compelled to tell the story. As if it holds something of value, even if I’m not sure what it is.