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