For days I watched a pair of wrens flying in and out of the side of my house - only to realize they were nesting in my clothes dryer vent. What they might be building in there? Must be cozy warm, but might it set my own house on fire?
When I finally dragged a step ladder out to peak in, I was surprised at just how industrious they'd been. Twigs filled the vent and I reached the entire length of my entire arm into the duct to retrieve their tiny house.
Location, it seems, is everything for the wren. Hundreds of sticks filled the duct but their ephemeral nest was made up of nothing more than a few pine needles, feathers, twigs and a piece of a blue tarp my husband had thrown over his Triumph motorcycle. You could huff and puff and blow it to pieces.
Over a few years, I found another wren's nest abandoned, was gifted a sturdy barn swallow nest made of clay and dried grass and crafted another out of Martha's Vineyard seaweed - inspired by the 'eggs' scattered about on the beaches of Menemsha.
This is definitely a collection that will grow itself - with pleasure in each find. Until I find someone with a greater passion to gift them to!