If birds weren't fascinating enough, try imagining yourself a barn swallow juvenile learning to fly and land. And then imagine the aerial feats required to feed on flying insects and even glide over water to scoop up a drink!
Now that is fascinating. And it came as no surprise that fledglings, while learning and strengthening their wings, need to stop now and then to rest. And this is what I stumbled upon, three fledglings resting on a brick shelf, preening just a few feet away from me.
Over our heads, a whole group of swallows, mature and juvenile, were flying aerial maneuvers, the most delightful of which was the flight just millimeters above a man-made pond's surface to quinch an insect-loving thirst.
My sole reason for being outside at this moment was to escape a hospital waiting room's air conditioner. But I found an added delight in watching these juvenile swallows preen for a while, then rejoin their parents in the air.
To see more images of these swallows, visit Vickie Henderson Art.