The Latest Addition to My Collection
For several years, when I lived quite another life in northern California, I bought and sold and amassed collections of all manner of 1920s-1950s stuff. (The selling was a direct result of too much amassing.) I no doubt trekked dozens of miles at antique malls and outdoor flea markets, searching for everything from colorful pottery and catalin jewelry to lucite purses and Art Deco chrome.
Now I collect rocks and bird nests. (Though I still have many of my earlier finds. Most are safely tucked away in boxes, but certain items have escaped confinement and are haphazardly scattered around the The Shack. There are, for instance, five 1930s bakelite radios staring down at me from a shelf above my computer. Below the shelf, four fluffy kittens from the same era are forever cavorting around a fishbowl in a small, rectangular print. A brightly flowered curtain from the 1940s covers an unused door in my office.)
But I digress. Anyway, yesterday I put the sheep in a large Donkey Daycare Grazing Pen for a while. There are two enormous sycamore trees in this pen, and below them are piles of large branches that broke off during the recent storms. During their midday rest period, the sheep happily nestled in the shade amongst the debris. While I was carefully picking my way through it to check on everyone, I found this glorious nest laying on the ground--no doubt knocked out of the sky along with all of the branches.
I probably have at least two dozen bird nests by now. Most of them are startingly different from one another, but even the ones that were obviously crafted by the same species of bird are each unique creations. I don't think there will ever be a time when I am not in awe of a bird nest. I become mesmerized and find myself staring at them, trying to figure out how in the world I could even come close to constructing something so precise and perfect using nothing but my mouth.
Most of my bird nests are between three and four inches wide, but this new one measures six inches across. It is somewhat similar in size and shape to this nest I found last year. While I have yet to find the time to research what types of birds built each of my nests, I know exactly what kind of bird built this one--a very smart one! This has got to be the warmest, woolliest bird nest in the world. Click here if you would like to see the underside and a close-up of the construction detail.
I think this is a good time to mention that I only collect bird nests that are obviously no longer being used. Most of them are found on the ground. I do have a couple of nests that still contained teeny tiny, unbroken eggs when I discovered them, but even these had obviously been abandoned. Someday I will get around to photographing more of my collection (and some other day we will build a proper case in which to display them all). Each of these nests is truly a work of art. And as you can see, I easily get carried away talking about them.
A year of Daily Photos ago:
Surprise Lilies Are Also Known As Naked Ladies
Looking back each day at the photo I posted a year ago has been very interesting. I don't look ahead, preferring the daily surprise instead. This means (as you may have noticed) that sometimes I find myself posting new photos that are amazingly similar to ones I posted right around the same time last year. The surprise lilies are a case in point.
But rather than feeling embarrassed by these inadvertent repetitions, I am taking comfort in the fact that although it often feels as if everything is always changing, there are some things around the farm that do remain the same year after year. And fortunately many of them are things of quiet beauty (or cuteness).