Okay, I’m officially banning the metaphor "like the swallows to Capistrano". For starters, it’s hackneyed, an expression that lost whatever freshness it had about a month after its first usage. Second, the birds that are generally shown in the media having supposedly returned to San Juan Capistrano each year aren’t typically swallows anyway, more commonly doves or starlings. And no-one’s even quite sure (other than San Juan Capistrano tourism boosters) about when the damn things are supposed to come anyway, with dates proffered from February right through April.
So, a new phrase is needed. Anyone have a better and more colorful metaphor as a replacement? Or should we just do what I do, and use the word "predictable" instead?