Thursday, March 15, 2007

N is for Nest

We were riding our bikes on the rail trail when I passed it on the ground. I slammed on the brakes. Tim was way ahead of me, of course. It was an oriole nest. I picked it up and stuck it in my pack. Now we keep it in Tim’s studio.

An oriole nest is a perfect, woven sack. Orioles build them high up in the tree, in branches overhanging streams, paths, roads. It seems I often see them in what I think is the same place from year to year, but a little research tells me that orioles don’t reuse nests—although they may recycle materials from old nests in the same tree.

There was an oriole nest in the tree in our next-door neighbor’s front yard. The tree was half dead. We could see the nest when it was occupied, and it stayed where it was for a couple of years, I think. It survived winters and windstorms. I loved walking under it, looking up, seeing it was still there.

At the beginning of January, my neighbors took the tree down.

It was the right thing to do. But I hate seeing trees go, and I hate losing that oriole nest, that oriole tree. I wonder if they’ll feel betrayed.

Of course, orioles and their nests will still be around. I’ll see them along the rail trail. I’ll see them on that particular bend of the Mettawee River if I wade up far enough. And there’s a tree across the street, way up on the hill, where—if I stretch my hammock between the hooks on my porch and actually lie down in it (an all-too-rare occurrence), then place binoculars to my eyes—I can see them flitting in and out of a nest. They are so perfectly orange against the blue blue sky.


lolololo said...

I found a nest in my yard about three weeks ago. It is too small to be an orioles but it looks the same, tightly woven, perfect, beautiful.
It is on my dining room table in a little arrangement.

What does Tim have in his studio? And is it near the Martini Lounge?

JHK said...

It always makes me sad to see a tree go too and I wonder who lived in it.

I don't know if I've ever seen an oriole nest up close, but now I really want to find one!

Sewa Yoleme said...

I know I've never seen an oriole nest, but more importantly, I don't think I've ever seen an oriole. I feel so ashamed.

Helen said...

Were your blog colours chosen in honour of the oriole?

Helen said...

P.S. I didn't actually abandon my people blog; I like to think that I "set it free" :).

Indigo Bunting said...

LO: Ah, nests. Tim's studio is a room right by Martini Lounge, separated by pocket doors. Technically, it's his room to paint in (mostly watercolors). It's become more of his music room, though, as he is a recorder freak playing with two groups of other chamberylike folk.

jhk: may it be so!

SY: I've seen way more orioles here than I ever did in Maryland.

Helen: I picked the blue because it was the closest to an indigo bunting. Then I picked a complement, the orange. But absolutely, I realized my post matched the color scheme when I went to post it! And I changed "abandoned" within minutes of your post.

Cedar Waxwing said...

I think I've seen an oriole (in New England - not Maryland), but not an oriole nest. I don't see too many nests. Maybe I'm not observant.