her awesome beauty

Bird NestIt’s hard not to anthropomorphize. Especially when the little critters are forced to deal with catastrophe.

We live in a charming cottage-style home with high, peaked roofs. Adding to the charm are vines, creeping up from the sides of the house, writhing their way along the roofline, adding the perfect accent. Until, that is, they become overgrown. Then, it seems the only solution is to tear them down, clean up, and let them start anew (we’re not that dependable for “regular maintenance”).

So today, down they came. It wasn’t that hard; the roots don’t attache that firmly. After the first major chunk came down, I noticed a neat little nest, tucked high in the branches. I pointed it out to my wife, and we marveled at the intricate weave of twigs, strands, and ferns, so perfect it looked like a decoration. I was relieved, at first, to find it empty. Then I noticed a tiny egg nearby, paper-thin, cracked and leaking. Later, I came across evidence of a second, a smear of yolk on a windowsill. Needless to say, this cast a pall on the remainder of the job. When I uncovered an enormous black widow, then was harrassed by a hovering wasp, it only seemed fitting.

When the job was finished, I took the nest back to our potting shed. It was too beautiful, and too heartbreaking, to throw away. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with it, and I can’t help but imagine the parent birds returning after all the ruckus died down, to have their worst fears realized. Augh.