Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two summers ago, the most prolific plants in my garden were the birdhouse gourds.

Last summer, on the Fourth of July, there were enough dried gourds for every woman and child attending our family reunion, to scrub, sand, drill, clean (with masks), and paint colorful new homes for the birds in their yards.

I wanted my gourd to retain its pretty coat of paint, so I slathered on layers of outdoor varnish, and put it out for use. All summer the birds ignored my work of art. The only action the little birdhouse got was the rain that effortlessly washed my gourd clean...varnish and all.

This summer has been a different story. A little wren decided to make her home in my unadorned gourd. On rare occasions I see her poking her head out of the hole in the gourd, but she's camera shy and disappears from sight whenever I show up camera in hand.

Today, I saw my wren renter sitting on the arbor that holds her home. Her beak was full of dry grass. I imagined that I heard the raspberry as she shook her head and spit the stuff out of her mouth. She darted back into the gourd and reappeared seconds later - this time her beak full of feathers! She went through this reverse nest building several times before she became aware of me and flew off.

What in the world was she doing? Redecorating? Throwing the bum out? Making room for baby birds? I doubt I'll ever know... but it was fascinating to watch.

Never dreamed my crop of gourds would provide such a variety of experiences.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young... Psalm 84:3

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