The Hansville Greenway is beautiful at this time of year. If you enter through Buck Lake Park, you may be greeted by barn swallows flying high and low, their iridescent blue backs glinting sunlight. They are hunting insects, acrobatically twisting and turning, riding small waves of wind that only they can detect. They often fly so low that you can see the whole top of their body in flight – something we humans rarely get to observe in birds.

As I watch them, it is hard to tell if they are doing these aerial tricks for the sole purpose to catch insects. I like to imagine they’re riding the waves as we would ride a rollercoaster; in part to catch food, but in part to have some good, old fashioned, exhilarating fun. What a beautiful flight pattern. One of nature’s many art forms.

To observe the art of Nature is different than observing art in a screen. It pulls us out of our head, out of our focused view. It surrounds us and embraces us. Something magical happens – focus moves from the head to the heart; senses heighten, one can feel a vibrancy that is not achievable in front of your computer screen.

The swallows seem to split their time between the meadows – Buck Lake Park, Lower Hawk’s Pond, Bear Meadow. I haven’t figured out the pattern yet. But if you catch them at any of their frequented locations, you will be rewarded by their beautiful twirling ups and downs, as you sit watching them, basked in the gentle Washington sun.

We also wanted to let everyone know that the logging operations have stopped for the year and all trails are now open.  A big thank you to all the volunteers that worked hard removing downed trees and brush to open the trails. 

By Emily A. Cooper