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Posts Tagged ‘nesting’

I find it amazing to discover what birds will use to build their nests and how some will determinedly hang on to the dribs and drabs of life to construct a home.

We often find fallen nests, especially after high winds, in our garden. Sometimes they are nests that have been raided by birds of prey or squirrels. It happens when you live in a woodland area. We take the good with the not so. Some of the fallen nests make it onto the Arbor House, they might hold a succulent, or find themselves in our Christmas tree. We have had one nest for at least ten years. It sits on a bookshelf. It is an oriole’s nest and it amazes me. The nest came down in a nasty storm and landed on the chaise lounge on the deck. It took me a some moments to figure out what it was. Eureka moments are so grand, aren’t they? At any rate, how do birds make a nest that looks a purse or sock, and attach a handle from which to hang it from a limb? I can’t keep my shoulder purse on my shoulders, yet, orioles can fashion intricate pocket purses to raise a family in the very tops of old trees.

I was thinking about whatever the day’s news was, weeding out in what has become our Elmhurst Garden. We have our Prairie Garden and the Big Island, a teardrop that is, at this moment, a wild and weedy adventure. A few years back, before the Prairie, Tom dug this smaller garden. We moved a twig of a ginkgo tree, a sapling from my friend June. An oakleaf hydrangea was put in and a patch of lamb’s ears. These were from dear Sharon divisions of divisions of lamb’s ear that I gave her some years before. Don’t you love how plants spring up in a gardener’s life? In time, a peony and a barberry from Marilyn’s yard found their way into our soil,  as did a rose from a woman whose name escapes me now. Then, a number of plants that were saved from the Wilder Park Conservatory renovation got their feet dirty here on the Cutoff. I purchased a few plants over time; salvias, marjoram, lavender. I try to put in plants the deer don’t favor; always an “iffy” proposition. A woman one town over sells off her own plants, seedlings, not a bad little cottage business. I know if they grow in her yard, they will grow in mine, so try to pick up something every year. Some have thrived and perform quite nicely in late spring. Most of the plants in the plot are from friends from Elmhurst and so, this is the Elmhurst Garden.

So, there I was, weeding and dead heading and otherwise ruining my fingernails. I was near the barberry which was really quite a show-off this spring. She was a magnificent riot of colors and textures. I noticed something just a wee bit out-of-place. It was a string. A thin, paper string, perhaps one little piece of packing material that escaped someone’s recycling bin. I reached out to remove it, then halted. It actually looked like it belonged on the barberry and who am I to determine whether or not it belonged. The large sycamore stands nearby and is where oriole nest. There are also elms and maples and oaks. Perhaps the bird from whose beak or claws this string escaped would come back – or another bird would see it and use it to build a new home.

It is gone. The string is gone. The orioles aren’t singing right now. I’m hoping, with the hope we gardeners and dreamers have, that the oriole, or another bird, have this little piece of building material woven into their summer homes.

Here’s to all the nesters out there, especially the dads who have passed on and to those who are still with us, especially my Antler Man, a great Dad and Papa –  who understands why his wife leaves ribbons of paper where they are woven.

Happy Father’s Day!

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I’ve been nesting.

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4:43 am.

The birds are already singing.

How do they know it is time to wake up – way before the alarm goes off?  My internal alarm starting beeping several hours ago.It was one of those nights that had me roaming the rooms, putting this and that away, and brewing a cup of tea for comfort.

As I wandered about, I looked out the windows for deer, finding none in sight, but, knowing they were grazing and that there is a fawn frolicking about the Cutoff.

I put a few errand cups and glasses into the dishwasher and turned it on. It is humming and swishing and splashing the remains of several meals as I watch these letters crawl like ants upon the computer screen and still the birds sing on. Mr. Cardinal has crooned his entire repertoire, many times,. Have you ever heard a cardinal sing? Their voices are as joyous as their gowns of red.

My latest read is at my elbow; a Maisie Dobbs mystery. I’ve fallen behind on her adventures and have set it upon myself to catch up over the summer.

The sky is bluing, now; as soft and hopeful as a newborn day should be

The Elmhurst College Arboretum has tulip trees blossoming right now and the Black Crowned Night Heron has once again set up housekeeping along Salt Creek. A few craft fairs are going on this weekend, the wandering paths of the local forest preserves should be dry after so much rain, making it a possibility for a walk to see what new treasures the forest floor is offering, and I’m sure the birds will still be singing, flitting about, building their nests.

 I think I’ll keep on nesting.

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