February 9, 2009

Bird's Nest

I spent a couple of hours out in the yard with the girls today. The weather was so nice, 72 degrees in the middle of February. It would have been sinful to stay indoors. While we were playing, a bird's nest from last year fell out of one of the trees in the front yard. I took the opportunity to let the girls examine the nest in great detail. We talked about that nest for quite some time today. That one little nest led us to an entire day of school lessons when we had not actually planned any specific school work for the day.

I sat in the yard with them and slowly dismantled the fragile little nest that we had happened upon. It was really interesting, as I've never examined a bird's nest so closely. We started with the bottom of the nest and unwound the long strips of bark that the bird had used to create the foundation. Then we discovered a few strips of thin plastic. That plastic was probably plucked from one of the nearby dumpsters or construction sites last spring. On top of the plastic was a neatly woven bundle of very bendable twigs. It looked as though it would have taken hours to weave those pieces together in such a perfect bowl. There were a couple of dry leaves that had been used, but the main portion of the nest was made mostly of those twigs that curved so easily without breaking.

I sent Marisa off to spend some time with Grandma so that Kira and I could focus a bit more on the lesson of bird's and their nests. We did some research to find out what types of materials a bird might like to use when building a nest. After that, I got a big plastic bowl and we filled it with various materials for our neighborhood birds. Kira managed to find some piles of cat hair that had blown into a corner behind a bookshelf. I pulled out the dryer lint that was still in the lint trap. I pulled out a skein of yarn and let Kira cut strips of yarn for the birds to use. I even added some strips of paper. Then we ventured outside to find twigs, leaves, moss, and grass to add to our collection.

After we gathered up all our offerings, we placed the bowl and all the materials that wouldn't fit inside the bowl on the ground underneath one of our bird feeders. The location was chosen mostly because it is easy to sit inside and watch the bowl to see if any of our birds take an interest in our gifts. I think Kira was be so thrilled to watch some of the birds take away her bird's nest materials that she gathered.

I feel good about today. Even after two hours working in the yard and running around trying to gather materials for the bowl, I still feel really good physically. I'm not hurting more than a bit of muscle soreness which is a huge accomplishment from how things were this time last year. It's so nice to have a bit of strength back and be able to do things again.

Kira wants to build a bird's nest. I have to figure out if it's even possible for us to build one and what I will need.



SmallWorld at Home said...

What an awesome day of discovery! I think we'll try that next week! My kids made bluebird houses and suet feeders this week, so this would fit in perfectly!