Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I always enjoy finding last year's nests in the woods, and the vireo's nest found near the creek on Sunday was the most astonishing one yet: a complex and elegant creation into which were interwoven most (if not all) of the essential elements of the north woods where it came into being.

Its delicate cupped shape was suspended between the forked branches of a young cherry tree on the hill above the fast flowing creek, and the maker had done an astonishing job of incorporating all sorts of natural materials into it: birch bark, the paper from abandoned wasps' nests, grasses, roots, bits of grapevine, mosses and lichens. it was fastened to the branch with what looked like tiny grapevine fibres, spider silk and strands from caterpillar cocoons.

I was so fascinated by the nest that it was several minutes before I realized that the young cherry in which it (the nest) resides is budding out exuberantly. My word, I shall have to do better than that.

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