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Tag Archives: nest

found poem: in the nest

found poem: below

found poem: the blue

found poem: April

found poem: the nest

found poem: what recent



the essence…


Cup of Gold - Solandra maximaIn a small triangle of soil at the corner of the garage, my mother planted a Cup of Gold vine — Copa de Oro, she called it. Its woody stems crawled across the wall above the garage door and along the side of the house below her studio window. Bare and gnarled in the winter, it wakened in spring with a dense screen of glossy leaves and enormous flowers that were true to their name. Apparently unperturbed by the noisy up-and-down of the garage door, a mourning dove built her nest in the vine each spring and laid a pair of fine white eggs.

My mother’s studio was open to me by invitation only. When she wanted me to pose for her, or to admire a painting, she would invite me in, each time cautioning me not to touch anything. Although she would report the return of the dove and issue occasional updates on the bird’s progress, I was allowed only as far as the doorway, across the room from the window.

But when my mother was out of the house, I would tiptoe across the creaky, paint-splattered wood floor and watch the dove through the slant of the blinds, her round eye alert and full of knowing, her mothering an occasional triumph punctuated by tragedies of theft, tumbles and desperate abandonment.

It was a minor defiance and, sadly, one of my few.
photo by Caleb Garvin


Dark-Eyed Junco, Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley, British Columbia
the night wind’s bright scattering of pale, round plum petals
snagged in the fingers of the yard’s low shrubs
as the junco chirps her warnings to the breeze: nest! nest! nest!
Dark-Eyed Junco photo by Nature’s Pic’s


nestIn the spring, about three years ago, a robin built her nest atop a beam in my backyard gazebo. She’d land on the fence with a scraggly bit of grass in her beak, assess the threat level and zoom in to weave the addition into her disheveled bowl. After a while, she spent less time flying and more time sitting, fluttering back to the safety of the fence whenever I walked through the yard.

The beam was dark and dry. Unfortunately, it was also well-trafficked by the resident black squirrels, who used it as their freeway to and from the bird feeder. Before long, bits of brilliant blue eggshell littered the ground amidst the leftover debris of nest building.

This morning, as I walked from the garage into the back yard, there was a loud thumping of wings and a flash of royal blue: a Steller’s Jay making a hurried escape from the nest area. Now I see that the robin has been at work again, rebuilding her messy nest in the angle of a truss barely a foot below the derelict remains of the earlier structure.

The jay, whose presence does not bode well for baby robins, scolds me from the branches of the crabapple tree, then the roof, then the fence. Chickadees, kinglets and a flicker call and sing among the raindrops. The robin is nowhere to be seen.

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