The daily activities of creatures in the neighborhood continue to fascinate me. While minivans come and go, children ride their bikes, and lawn mowers buzz around our lots, layers and layers of diverse societies carry out their own rituals. Recently my husband and I witnessed a tiny ant dragging an old dried up worm up a steep stretch of sidewalk. It was amazing that he could haul this heavy load so many times his own weight. We saw him get stuck in the joint of the sidewalk, cleverly adjust his grip to leverage himself out with his prize, then continue on his way. A study in strength, ingenuity, and perseverance.
I have been particularly interested in the nesting of the robins. There are nests in many of the cherry trees that line our streets. Just last week I peeked inside the ones I could discreetly reach with a stretch of my arm and a camera, and discovered that many had single blue eggs. Today I checked two of the nests again and the eggs were gone. This was a bit upsetting since foul play may have been a factor.
Baby robins will stay in the nest for about two weeks after hatching, so their sudden absence is not a good sign. In another nearby tree, I witnessed two robins frantically driving off a mischievous squirrel with high-pitched chirps and threatening swoops. Do squirrels eat eggs? The nest was too high up for me to see, but I hope their eggs are still safe.
With Mother’s Day just here, and the activities of the robins all around me, I have been moved to contemplate my own nesting behavior. While I love to travel, I have always strongly identified with the idea of home. I am not the free-spirited type who travels the world with a backpack. I need to build a nest. I see this nest-building as an extension of my creativity and imagination– an opportunity to create a special place for my family that both shelters and inspires us. My husband feels the same way, and our home has evolved into a reflection of us both over the last four+ years that we have lived here. We intend to stay here for at least the next ten years, and probably longer. This long term commitment to our nest allows us to invest in fully customizing it. Here is a picture of an outdoor space that has become our own backyard “nest.”