For the last few months, we've noticed a flock of birds that have congregated on the surface of the pond near our house, swooping and diving on the hunt for bugs swarming the surface of the water. This is always at dusk, so we've only ever been able to see their silhouettes.
Last week we went a little earlier, and not only were able to see them in better light, but unfortunately also found one dead, floating on the surface of the water. The bird looked very peaceful, seemingly unharmed, with its beak barely submerged below the water. It almost appeared to be sleeping.
The iridescent teal wings helped us do a bit of research, and we learned that these are tree swallows.
There is also a little duck pond nearby, with a fountain going in the summertime.
And here's a little time lapse of the sunset coming through one of our back windows. It's projecting the shadows of a few window decals that used to hang from the glass door to my grandparents' lanai. Always makes me smile when I see them.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based in Mansfield, MA.