Postcard from Madrid, Spain


This is the postcard received from 100swallows, but there was no text.

Along the road there are poppies and thistles, and the hills are crowned by rocks that look like castles, and the clouds arranged themselves just right for the photo.

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10 Responses to Postcard from Madrid, Spain

  1. Rich says:

    Santiago pilgrim road? Still very much en vogue.
    Wherever that may be, it makes me feel like walking along.

    “Postcard received from Swallows”: does it mean we are receiving a postcard from Swallows? Swallows posting a postcard to himself?
    Whatever, however, nice card. A perfect landscape.

  2. erikatakacs says:

    I think Swallows has a scribe. :) And that’s a good thing because that is a wonderful picture. Wish I could see it person. Thanks for sharing.

  3. ivdanu says:

    Gave me the envy to watercolor it…

    • 100swallows says:

      Danu: You are free to make one of your fine watercolors of this. I have a better one where you can see the castle that stands on the cliffs just a little farther on. It was maybe where Hannibal beat the Olcades before setting off for Italy with his army.

  4. cantueso says:

    That is a good photo. What could that little white square be that one sees where the road bends? A house?

  5. Ken Januski says:

    But shouldn’t there be a bird or two in this Swallows?

    By the way Swallows this seems like a good place to sneak in a reference to a very good Spanish bird artist, Juan Varela. I’m sure you’re nowhere near this but he is having a retrospective here: ‘Is in a gallery in Tremp a town in the Pyrenees near Lleida.’ Just in case this postcard is from you and you’re doing a lot of wandering this summer!

    • 100swallows says:

      Ken: That wasn’t a postcard from me and it wasn’t one I would have chosen to post here. Erika was right—it was my “scribe’s” doing and I wasn’t much amused. I’d have removed it but all of you immediately commented. Here is one I just took of the aqueduct of Segovia, with swallows.
      I don’t know the Spanish artist you mention but I will check him out.

  6. Rich says:

    Oh yes: some hundred swallows circling around in this beautiful landscape.
    What is common knowledge and what I have observed: swallows hovering low around the landscape often signify depression nearing, meteorologically speaking. Seems some insects they feed upon fly low with a low-pressure area around. But this postcard looks like sunny weather ahead, without low-altitude swallows.

    I lived once in a place, with a view on two old lime trees out from the window. On sulky, rainy days I would watch with fascination how countless swallows were incessantly flying in loop-lines under the basswood. It seems all kinds of flying insects had been taking shelter under those giant trees – kind of a pasture for all those swallows feeding down.

    • 100swallows says:

      Rich: I’d have liked to watch those swallows swooping under the basswood. I heard a similar explanation for why swallows fly high and low and it makes sense. That is based on the idea that they fly or exercise for a meal. But halfway through the morning and at dusk when they circle low around the houses and parks in excited groups, their flying sure looks like recreation. They scream like kids at recess time. They fly at incredibly high speed and oblige each other to keep within an ever-tighter formation, as though it were a race they ran or a game they played. Some, the ones on the outside of the circle, often can’t keep up and they fall away.
      I was in the town of Segovia to see the great Roman aqueduct again and was surprised at all the swallows. They nest in the crevices between the stones. At this time of year the young ones have just joined their parents in the sky. They will all be heading south a month from now.

      No, that’s not on the pilgrim route to Santiago, Rich. It’s at a ford in the Tajo River just a few miles from my house. I can’t remember cliffs like those anywhere along the pilgrim routes. These are a soft gypsum typical of central Spain. No trees grow on them.

  7. Rich says:

    As we are at them swallows: Just a few weeks ago from a bridge in a rural village I happened to observe a swallow species less known to me: the so called house martin, Mehlschwalbe. They skimmed the waters, and their flying performance was as admirable as the one from Spain so vividly described by you, swallows. At a certain angle, their dark plumage, for a moment, gem-like, turned to a flash of steel blue (or was it ultramarine?)

    There’s another one flying artiste, called the hawk swallow. With the appearance of radar-technology some swarming clouds of unidentified flying objects had been observed during nighttime. Later they were identified as flocks of birds: hawk swallows sleeping while flying…

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