Thursday, July 30, 2009

Households in Every Tree

That's how Emily Dickinson put it in her poem, For Every Bird a Nest

Here, on my back porch, what looks like a shrine to empty nests, is a collection of "households" from the spring birdhouses. After they leave, you're supposed to clean out the bird houses, and then, lo and behold, they come back and nest again! Tireless avian producers...bless them. I'm happy to help them along.

They are such architects, these birds. Such resourceful, focused designers. These nests are made of twigs, pine needles, Otto's dog fur, bits of screen, moss, a gum wrapper.

Pictured are two blue bird nests [one with a tiny blue egg that didn't hatch], from a pair of blue birds who raised two broods in our front yard; also a chickadee nest [made of moss and dog fur-- softer than cashmere!], a tufted titmouse nest, and two nests from a pair of Carolina wrens.

I can't resist. More about nests, through a poet's eyes:

...But in my hand it was
intricate pleasure, even the thorny reeds
softened in the weave. And the fading
leaf mold, hardly
itself anymore, merely a trick
of light, if light
can be tricked. Deep in a life
is another life. I walked out, the nest
already by the step.
From "Nest" by Marianne Boruch

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