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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.8: A Barn Swallow Story
    Hints of Balsam and Pine: Nature Reflections in a minor key from our quiet corner of the Adirondacks. For Fourpeaks Guests and anyone who ever dreamed about a wilderness getaway. CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   Adirondack Letter No.8: " A Barn Swallow Story."   (On the next page.)   Our Summer Swallows at New Camp.   List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.  

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    "A Barn Swallow Story" Adirondack Letter No.8
    (CLICK HERE for "Our Summer Swallows," 22 photos and text accompany this Letter.)

    Subject: "A Barn Swallow Story." Adirondack Letter No.8
    Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 06:48:52
    From: < >
    To: < youremailname@youremail.address >

    To:    Fourpeaks Visitors
    At:    < youremailname@youremail.address >

    TO OUR FELLOW NEWYORKERS: We are deeply saddened by
    the recent horrific events that happened in our home
    town. Just back from a family visit there we
    experienced firsthand the difficulty of "getting
    back to normal." We hope this Letter brings you
    a sense of the restorative potential in the natural
    world around us.

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    Our most welcome Summer visitors return in June to the very same
    place by the Stone House back door. Busy weeks on end with mud
    and straw, they fix up and add on to their nest from last year.

    After a while we get used to the startling protective display
    whenever we go outside or return home. Their small dark bodies
    move with amazing speed from up between the rafters where they
    live, down under the low porch overhang, out into the open air,
    screeching noisily at us, and then dart right back again into the
    small nest opening without pause or hesitation.

    Grey-white droppings soil the large planter by the door, the cedar
    bench and the gas grill as well. Good neigbors, we give up using
    that for all the smoke it makes. Now it's a useless mess but we
    don't mind.

    Some time in mid-July we sense the change. Frequent feeding trips
    and more alarming protective displays. The chicks have hatched.
    After a while we hear faint peeps. Later small beaks peer out the
    nest opening way up above our heads.

    Whenever human guests show up at our back door we point with
    pride to our aerial families, the hardworking couples, their
    sizeable broods and well constructed homes. The well designed
    gourd-shaped nest with the protected opening is built by the
    cliff swallow. The bowl-shaped open nest over in the Woodshed and
    at New Camp is their close cousin the barn swallow. We joke they
    are both paying guests, or at least work for their keep. In flight
    they comb the air for small insects, dining on the fly. Our place
    is mosquito-free.

    City dwellers are unfamiliar with these birds. We explain that
    high cliffs are their original habitat. When, years ago, they
    first adapt to human dwellings, large airy barns with high
    protected beams are their favorite nesting places. Open shelters
    like our Stone House back porch, the nearby woodshed and the eaves
    and porches at several of our backcountry camps, all make good
    seasonal breeding homes for these industrious little birds.

    We see them August evenings from our garden dinner table make high
    swooping arcs overhead. We admire the speed, grace, and repeated
    intricate patterns of flight. These end not on some limb or bush
    as with other birds, but always back at the nest, their high
    trapeze. There they feed their young and then they're off again.

    One day this show has an expected added attraction. Five or six
    wobbly smaller specks join the two graceful flyers we've been
    watching all along. At first the newcomers are airborne for just a
    few minutes. Later though slower and easily identified by their
    immature flight, the fledgling birds are out for longer periods,
    feeding on their own. Our swallows fly en famille. For weeks the
    evening air is filled with their purposeful acrobatics.

    Now Summer is over for us. The nests are empty. Getting ready for
    the next season here in the Northcountry, we miss them and wish
    them well wherever they are. (There are photos and more about our
    swallows at )

    Thanks for reading this. If you've ever been a guest with us, go
    to to learn about reduced rates for
    returning guests. Come see us again. If you've never been--find
    our new Availability Chart at and
    make some time for us. There's a lovely quiet season coming up.
    Till then please visit us On-Line: "Explore our 700-acre private rest and play-ground." Pretty Camps in a Hidden Valley. Walks with views & Beauty spots. Photo Guest Book--What they said.

    Your Adirondack Hosts,

    Martin Schwalbaum/Louise Merriam

    P.S. If you liked this Letter, CLICK HERE to Tell a Friend!
    If you didn't like it please reply to this with "REMOVE" in the
    subject heading. Thanks.

            Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
       Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    This is   No.8  of a really occasional   Letter,  "Hints of
    Balsam and   Pine  from our Corner  of the Adirondacks,"  for
    Fourpeaks guests   or  anyone  who   ever   inquired about  a
    Fourpeaks   Vacation/Getaway. To get off this list reply with
    "REMOVE" in the subject heading.

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    .Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out. 
    Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all.    Are you in this picture?  CLICK HERE to find out!    [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]

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    'Hints of Balsam and Pine from Our Corner of the Adirondacks.' Keep up with us through occasional newsletters. CLICK for sample.
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