where the wild things are

it’s been 2 years almost to the day since we moved to our “house in the woods.” we immediately knew this place was meant for us and it has not disappointed. it feels like we’ve been living here forever, so comfortable, so easy and so perfectly molded to our daily rhythms.

we’re fully immersed in nature here. there is no escaping it. it’s one of the big reasons we wanted to live here, to be able to raise our kids with the woods at their back door. we’ve seen incredible circles of life, including the horrifying episode of the paralyzed tarantula being dragged off by the tarantula hawk, all the while the road runner closely watching (the only known predator of tarantula hawks in north america!). this all happened a few feet from our front door.

recently we were able to witness something much sweeter. about a month or so ago, we noticed a frenzied bird delivering twigs and leaves to the swing hammock on our back deck. by the end of the day, the little house wren had some serious materials for a nest.

the next two days we watched her fully form the birthing ground, with a nice deep burrowed tunnel.

now this hammock sits at perfect eye level for our two little shorties. it’s also about ten feet from our breakfast table, so we literally had a birds-eye-view of all the activity. every day, many times a day, we visited to see what was up in the nest. sometimes mama would be hanging out in her temporary home, but she wasn’t much bothered by our presence. then one day we found an egg. the next day another. before long, there were four eggs we could count, teeny-tiny modeled beige and brown spheres no bigger than my thumb nail. two weeks later, this is what we saw:

we watched mama feed her babies at a break neck pace. literally non-stop. and she would bring those itty-bitty babies the biggest craziest bugs i have ever seen. we’d check on the wee-ones and find four mouths agape. always.

then one night, our cat romeo freaked out and ran over the window. thinking it was a scorpion or tarantula who had found its way inside, we ran over to see what the fuss was for. there, at our window ledge, was one of the babies, fluttering its wings, tweeting, opening its mouth. almost like it was trying to get in! the mama was perched on our clothes line watching carefully, fluttering back and forth to corral the little one. i went outside just in time to snap a picture as the baby hopped onto a bag of mulch. i guess it just wanted to say goodbye.

after a week with no birds, mama or babies, returning to the nest, we let the boys pull it out of the hammock and place it in a nook of a cedar at the entrance to our woods – bringing it all full circle.

every day i am filled with gratitude for the place we call home.

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