Every year, people in Southern California famously mark the days to the return of the swallows to Capistrano.
When the swallows return, they know spring has arrived. I've got a little house north of the city where we've given over a shed to a bunch of barn swallows.
Years ago, I used to fight with them, tried to discourage their constant nest-building. The little buggers are pretty persistent.
And once I realized the number of bugs they suck up in their amazing aerobatic displays of flight, I got to thinking maybe we should be on the same team. So we gave over the old shed and barn swallows happily return there every spring.
Barn swallows are gorgeous. But for the split tail and the red brown breast they almost look like bluebirds. Around our place, we know summer's over when the barn swallows head south. Not with a little bit of melancholy, I discovered over the weekend they had already left.
Just a minute, I'm Harry Smith, CBS News.