Hirundines. #27

Silves. Algarve. 25 February 2018

Out of the clear blue sky came one. One became two, and two became a torrent. Darting and diving, aerial gymnastics in search of insect prey. A crescendo of noise. 

Andorinha-das-rochas your dominance of the resident sky is over. The airborne assault will be magnified ten fold by summer visitors. Your cousins now amongst you Crag Martin. 

Powerful surges of Swallow and daintier House Martin 'shimmies', along with weaker Sand Martin 'paddles'. They contrast and confirm they have arrived.

Spiralling upwards to find food, the excitable  'tswit' calls of Swallow give audible form to its dynamic and jittery character. This strongest of flyers. Happily nesting amongst the town diners and revellers. Andorinha-das-chaminés in their national tongue. 

Amongst the feeding frenzy, sounds the 'chirrup' of Andorinha-dos-beirais; its pure white rump evident for all to see. Busy refueling, and repairing last years eaves additions. Ever industrious House Martin. 

Sand Martin follow the river, a slighter version of its resident relative. Not Crag Martin lofty cliffs for them but deep burrows in suitable substrate. It's 'tchrrup' unmistakable as it meanders overhead. Andorinha-das-barreiras in its living tomb. 

All lift the spirit and show continuity in a oft broken world. Once more time has ticked forward to renewal and reward...


Paradise. #26

Parque de estacionamento. Aeroporto de Faro. Algarve. 19 February 2018

Bend with the landscape, unseen and unfettered, and look at the herd in its static malaise. 

Cumbersome giants, complete with accessories. Lifes 'essentials' on show for status and kudos. Badges of honour, to know you belong. 

Gargantuan whales beached on bleached concrete. Circle the wagons, there's safety in numbers; the enemy's out there and they want to be you.

The old and the grey; motorway masters, fussing around their immaculate charges. Each alloted space jealously guarded; by rulebooks, and glances, and 'doing the right thing' . 

Satellite dishes all face to their Mecca; 'same again' programmes remind you of home. A home from home, if you live in a kitchen. So raise your glasses and 'live the dream'. 

Stand with your steeds and discuss their uniqueness. But you're all the same peas in all the same pods. Beam with great pride that you researched 'her' so thoroughly. And let your mirror-image neighbours bask in your glow. 

Walk the pooch around the dry sterile dust bowl, bagging up shit with superior glances. It's right after all, it's written in 'our' site book. Rule number one: keep paradise clean...

Lovers. #25

Taberna Almedina. Silves. Algarve. 14 February 2018

This special day. A day of lovers and promises and the future. Where spirits lift and hearts open to show the possible. 

This day of optimism and love and commitment. A day where lifes path is eased with roses and fine wine and good food.

The 'not for the reality of tomorrow' day, but rather a day of basking in the glow of the possible; if only  grasped and kept.

The cynical have no place here, they have every other day to ruin: to crush in their distorted, jealous empty hands. 

Enjoy the company, enjoy the food, enjoy the Fado, enjoy the fact that you have somebody that wants you. 

Because there may come a time when love is extinguished and empty. A time when it's gone...

Sentinel. #24

Estuário Arade. Algarve. 10 February 2018

I see you again and again. I hear you even when I don't see you; because you see me first. Kyip-kyip-kyip; your piercing alarm call alerting less watchful others. They too take flight because you've done your job well.

You call in the distance, and you sing on the wing. Music for the troubled soul. But your alarm call means I'm too close, I've been found out and beaten; again. 

You leave your gully, leave the mud rich pickings beneath the surface. Mocking me as you go. An uneven contest, not even close. Always one winner. 

But the incoming tide will draw you back. You have to feed and time is shortening. The sea is reclaiming its ground and will soon shut the door. So you will be back; you have to live. 

Muddy channels are filling, and the time is now. The saltmarsh still changing from solid to liquid; looking darker against another setting sun. Soon be lost to weak human eyes. 

I can't see you, but I still hear you. I know you're out there still feeding. Still watching. I hear your alarm call; kyip-kyip-kyip. I hear you again and again. Taunting me in the darkness. The ever vigilant Redshank; sentinel of the marsh...

Birthday. #23

Portugal. 4 February 2018

A special day, to be marked with a line drawn in the sand day. A benchmark never to be repeated in a lifetime of indifference day.

Revelers and party goers, and double cheek kissing frauds day. On this special day.

A day to die for day, you don't look a day over...lie day. A meaningless kiss and hug, brain freeze day.

Old fool and vanity day, the ailments and things that haunt you day. Such a special day. 

Let's make it more than it should be day. For others, marking their own mortality against you day. 

A does it matter day, in the big scheme of things day.  A who would really miss you day.

Passport. #22

Estuário Arade. Algarve. 01 February 2018

In the large expanse of 'emptyness', thoughts wander back to half forgotten distant times. Memory helped by the waders that ply their trade in sticky mud, topped by viscous ever moving saline. 

Back to countless estuary rich days. Same birds in the same search for food and shelter. Migrants and foreigners, but 'ours' for the passage. Enriching the watcher by enchanting the eye. Giving and taking. 

Passing birds through passing seasons. The way of it for millennia, as it should be, as it is. Not for them, nationalistic, narrow-minded constraints. Necessity driven existence; dependant on bountiful inter-tidal deltas, regardless of state. 

Defying borders and boundaries in the need for sustenance and safety. A whirling mass of energy in flight, every 'lift' a response to danger. Every forced movement, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice. 

Comparisons clouding my mind, dragging me unwillingly to a land far removed from its finest hour. From peace shaper to shape shifter, a jingoistic unwelcoming imposter. Malevolence in the making... 

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