Monday, June 01, 2009


Greening, wildflowers and foliage, nesting birds and eggs everywhere...... I go about with notebook in pocket and camera slung around my neck, and the question is always the same at this time of year. Do I barge in and snap a photo of the nesting birds I meet in my potterings? So far, I have resisted the impulse, thinking that to disturb the nesting mothers would be rude. Were I in one of their places, I would be terrified by the sight of a large, clumsy and unthinking human blundering into my nursery or sanctuary and taking photos of my children-to-be. I do (however) take pictures of the nests when the parents are away feeding.

On the way up the trail yesterday in a high wind, under cloudy skies and just after torrential rain, sleet and hail, I almost stepped on a ruffed grouse sitting quietly on her nest of nine creamy eggs in a stand of spiky scouring rushes and enfolded in deep leafy shadow. She was so perfectly camouflaged that I only noticed her when she looked up at me with a beady black eye, stirred and made a soft "pprrrrrpp" sound.

A few feet further along, a hermit thrush had made her nest In a wicked clump of junipers near one of the wild orchid colonies, and there were two tiny bright blue eggs in it - later there were three.

As I turned back toward the car later, I noticed a single yellow warbler's egg resting in a heap of soggy mucilaginous leaves, right in the middle of the path. It had probably been blown there by the high winds which were blowing the trees along the trail almost sideways yesterday.

Closer to home, the house finches who have crafted their nest in the oak wreath on door of the little blue house in the village are busy feeding their brood these days - it will only be a week or so until the wee ones are fully fledged and ready to fly. For only a moment now and again, the wonderfully rosy male finch perches on top of the wreath, and we can see him through the Georgian fanlight window in the door. After weeks of song and cheerful "comings and goings" on our threshold, we are not looking forward to an empty nest and an untenanted wreath.


Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed this lovely description and the photos!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love your blog. i just found it. i see that you like practical magic! i own the original spellbook from the movie and have posted it on my blog. if you want to see it go to my blog and click on witch collection in my side bar. hope you enjoy!

L'Adelaide said...

I loved walking along with you, if only for a minute or was lovely...thank you!

Sky said...

we have 2 nests here, one in our woodland garden area within a birdhouse where babies make lots of cheeping noises. another is on the ground amidst a stack of old limbs and twig debris in an area set apart from view and from our gardens. it is a workspace area where mulch and gravel are stored. sometimes garden debris is stored here until waste pick-up occurs. a dark plastic bag was blown across the piling on a recent windy day. the mother sits on her nest peering out from the space between the top of the limbs and where the plastic begins. i want to move the plastic, but i dare not. when hubby first found this nest as he attempted to remove the debris there was only one egg. he stopped in his tracks. now there are 3 eggs. these are white/cream with brown speckles and appear to belong to an oregon junco (dark eyed junco). we are thrilled to have 2 active nests here.

i love the photos with this post! i hope you get as excited as we do when we see a nest. please keep us updated on the one outside your window!