the tiniest treasure.

this little hummingbird nest is the most heartbreakingly beautiful thing i’ve seen in quite a spell. i’ve got a major soft spot for tiny houses, and this is the tiniest ever. check the scale out, people:

can you believe that? i couldn’t. it was gifted from my boyfriend. he’s a good giver. lest you think i’m a real fast mover, i’ll tell you that the carpenter is my boyfriend again… one not-so-small detail in my current life. i’ve never been the sort of lady who entertains thoughts of on-again, off-again, tumultuous love as a regular practice. but our love was never off, not really, and we’ve decided to give it another go. we like each other too much not to try rebuilding. we hope we can, & we’ve promised to be honest with ourselves and with each other if we can’t.

there’s a hummingbird in eastern oregon who lost her home. she’s endured some heartbreak, too, i’m sure of it. but hummingbirds have some crazy-strong hearts, so i’ve got good hope she is rebuilding. the nest came down when my man friend was thinning out some old-growth chestnut trees at a job site. he feels pretty terrible about cutting that branch out, but he didn’t see the nest until it was on the ground. which is sometimes how things happen.

hummingbirds make their nests out of soft materials (this one is clearly fabricated from dryer lint) bound together by spider webs for strength! then, to camouflage the structure, they glue bits of bark and sticks to the outside…. and, um, i am pretty sure this one contains some mouse poop, for extra panache. (speaking of panache and birds and homebuilding [and also of impressing one’s mate, i might add], if you’ve never seen footage of bowerbirds, go take a look at this video. you’ll be so glad you did.)

there are lots of hummingbirds who live in my backyard, and we’ve decided to put out strategically-placed piles of dryer lint for them, for karmic balance, for a symbol of rebuilding.



6 thoughts on “the tiniest treasure.

  1. Oh Emily – so so sweet. First to your relationship – hugs and more hugs of support. I am completely and totally fascinated with these hummer creatures and spent my entire summer last, photographing them day after day. I found my first nest last summer and I hold my breath waiting to see if the family will return to it this year. Happy building to you. Best,Kim

    • thanks for your sweetness, kim! i remember those amazing photos you took of the birdies… is the nest you found very high up on the tree? you must need binoculars! i hope your friends come back. xo

  2. I love this post and was fascinated by the video! In one of my posts in 2011 I blogged about a Robin’s nest I found. Here is a post with a video I found really interesting. If you like birds, you might like it too:

    and here is a post about some thoughts I had while watching the mother tend to her babies:

    • kathleen, those videos are excellent! there is an absolutely wonderful full-length attenborough documentary about bowerbirds, if you were interested in the youtube bit. birds are so fascinating, aren’t they?! xo

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