There are four chicks sitting on the shelf at the back of the garage. They nest on a ledge in a recess most years. Sometimes in the roof above the car. It's not always clear if the same pair have come back in successive years or if the chicks are returning to where they were born. But this year, instead of a pair there were three and they spent a lot of time just flying in and out through the panel which is opened for them every year. So they were probably inexperienced young adults. Then they seemed to have disappeared, until the coming and going with a beak full of flies revealed the presence of chicks in the nest. Did two of the three pair up? If so what of the third? Although we are living so close to them their lives are a mystery.
But watching them fly now over the house to swoop low across the back field for insects is to watch the teeming life of Midsummer grow to fullness as the year matures. Along the edge of that field, behind the back garden, the abundance of insects is clear. The bramble flowers are alive with soldier beetles clambering over them and apparently mating even as they feed on the nectar. In the sunshine after rain butterflies of many hues feed on the flowers too, and on the garden buddleia.
Summer deepens and stretches towards an autumn that yet remains far away when the swallows will gather and sit on the wires before following the last of summer southwards. Those in the garage may have another brood before then, or perhaps they have left it too late. One way or the other, life will go on whatever happens to us or to them.