On a dog walk very late last fall, I saw a nest, a delicately formed, tightly woven, brown bowl of a nest, only a couple inches across, hanging between two bright red shrub branches. It was such a startlingly perfect object, hanging in mid-air along the otherwise grey trail, that I couldn’t help but notice it. Naturally, I didn’t have my camera with me, but I hurried home to tell M about it. Turns out, M had noticed it on his last walk, too.
I was determined to get back down to the nest the next day to take a picture to share.
Then it snowed.
I didn’t get back to that particular trail until late spring, when the snow was gone and the mud had cleared. I didn’t expect that the nest had stood up to the deep snows of winter, so was happily surprised to see it still hanging there in the spot I had mentally marked the previous fall.
Summer passed. Too busy or distracted to walk that particular trail, I forgot about the nest.
Since it had lasted the winter, I assumed it would still be there. More accurately, since I had once again gone walking without my camera, I was positive it would still be there, and I’d be kicking myself once again about not taking its picture.
When we reached the spot, I looked quickly, then more carefully. It was gone.
That’s justice, eh?
The dog and I turned around and walked up the path, back toward the house. My eyes on the ground, I spied something in the leaves that looked like it didn’t belong. I knelt down, turned it over. It wasn’t the same nest. Its architect wasn’t so careful and considered as whoever built the other one; perhaps it was made by an entirely different species of bird (I don’t know my nests at all), but, still, it was a nest.
I carried it home. Put it in a patch of sunlight. And here it is for you.