Photo: rkimpeljr via Flickr creative commons
Photo: rkimpeljr via Flickr creative commons

Photo: Rkimpeljr via Flickr creative commons

When I lived in Japan many years ago, every spring our city would see the return of the swallows, those sleek, thin birds that dart around us, gobbling up insects on the fly. The birds would build their mud nests under the eaves of buildings and sometimes over the doorways of shops.

Each morning, the shopkeepers would open their doors and place a small piece of cardboard in the doorstep to catch the droppings from the young swallows in the nests above. They replaced the cardboard every day, until the babies had fledged and flown away.

Here at Lane, the swallows have built their mud nests on the north and east sides of the Center Building. Some babies have fledged, but others were still in the nests. I say “were” because on the morning of Monday, June 1, construction workers blasted some of the nests away with water guns.

Perhaps it is time to reconsider our priorities.