Friday, July 4, 2008

A Parade for the Fourth

The chain saw sat idle for a few days—resting under the cover of the barn, on a small table, just inside the wide wooden door. It didn’t take but a moment for the wrens to find it—and tuck a nest beneath, bounded at the edges by an unruly pile of chain and several scraps of wood.

For days she sat quietly inside, barely seen in the dark barn, her head low, rust-colored feathers matching the dried leaves perfectly.

A mother’s eye watching my every passing move.
Five speckled eggs, safely warm.

Two weeks later they've hatched, and the job of feeding begins.

Bare pink bodies, wearing nothing but dark fluff on their heads, snuggle, face-forward, waiting for their parents’ return. Motionless and quiet, in their warm fuzzy hats, they, too, are barely seen.

It’s an endless procession.
First, Mama with a grub, then Papa with a beetle.
They hop to the small opening and wait.
With each arrival, the nest comes alive.

Five gaping orange mouths, hungrily open.
Finally, color and life.

Carolina Wren at nest

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NW Nature Nut said...

Who whould have thought they'd use a spot like that! The wrens are cute, but I have to say that the barn photo is spectacular. Did you do any photoshopping? The colors and composition are great.

nina said...

I took the barn photo this afternoon, after a light rain, when color is always brightened.
I don't have photoshop, just a small assortment of options available in iphoto.
I did color-correct this shot because I had taken off all filters in order to get the indoor barn shots.

Wrens are nice because they tolerate people so well. I could have touched the parents as they fed their nestlings--such brave birds!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great shots of the feeding sequence. I loved the post!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A great series of photos Nina. What fun it will be having those little ones bouncing around the garden when they fledge.

Anonymous said...

Oh, lucky you - what great pictures. Don't you feel like a foster parent?

KGMom said...

Nina--I love the first photo of mama wren under the chain saw, bright eye watching you.

swamp4me said...

Terrific shots! Is that chicory in the first picture?

The wrens nesting in the backpack on our back porch finally fledged last week -- it's nice to have the pack back :) I absolutely adore wrens and will tolerate them nesting just about anywhere.

bobbie said...

Are they corn flowers? I love corn flowers.
The wrens are wonderful of course. You didn't want to use that chain saw anyway, now did you?

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

I derive great pleasure from visiting your site. Thank you. I very much enjoyed the wren family photos and narrative. The wren parents must just about wear themselves out trying to satisfy the ravenous babies.

cestoady said...

Really like your new masthead --bright,cheery, with flower and a flower- fly busy at work -- and that Whitman quote tastefully included to remind us of its enduring truth.

Your wonderful series of photos on the CWR is so revealing of a bird that has readily adapted to humans and their stuff.

Like the other southern natives, Cardinal and Mockingbird ,who have become well- established here in upstate NY, I am now beginning to hear the Carolina Wren . Global warming ?? Maybe they will some day invade my garage and nest on my outboard motor since I do not have a chainsaw.

July 5, 2008 12:53 PM

Dina said...

That's a graceful looking barn, now full of new bird life.
Hope you weren't needing the chainsaw.
Thanks for this lovely story.

Kevin Heads said...

Wow great find and super pic nice one Nina.

Kerri said...

WOW! Another Fabulous post!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
The Carolina Wren is one of my favorite birds. Seeing her nesting under the chainsaw made me laugh. So many little ones about for you!
I love seeing the babies in the nest. The birds love you and seem to trust you.
Once again a lovely series of photos. I also love the light after a rain.