Friday 9 December 2016

Kevin Myers: Autumn's death knell has sounded so why are the swallows still here?

Published 26/10/2012 | 17:00

TWO swallows were hunting low over my house yesterday, more than a month after they should have departed for Africa, and just two days before we move into wintertime.

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The movement of African migrants is one of the great natural metronomes that, independent of the calendar, sounds the knell over one season and a welcome to its successor. So now, the rules have clearly changed. Winter formally arrives, yet swallows remain: the sensation is almost creepy: the world feels slightly out of kilter. Ancient laws now do not apply. What happens next?

Yes, we've had a glorious autumn, the only Irish season that remotely resembles its mythic self. Spring was a disaster: a cross between a car-wash and a wind-tunnel, scouring the blossom from the trees in the orchard before the pollen could journey to the female stigma and complete the act of fertilisation.

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