Possibly The Closest Yet Encounter With Common Wildlife

Holy crap.

I was puttering around on the deck, ripping out the plants that have run their course, putting in some stuff that claims to like shade (we’ll see about that–my deck is a kind of Darwinian gauntlet this year, as I attempt to determine what I can keep alive in this climate. Salvia, honeysuckle, and azaleas are gettin’ on like a house afire, jasmine and butterfly bush are doin’ okay, dwarf gardenia is blooming with mad excitement. Some of the others that were initally doing great have succumbed to caterpillars. Since I won’t use pesticide for fear of damaging the bird food chain, I pretty much wrote ’em off as a loss. I could get a shipment of praying mantises or something, but we have plenty of bugs already without having to get even more.)

But I digress.

I was puttering around, as I said, doing some cleaning in the bargain, and looked over at my little two-tier cheapass wooden potting shelf. The cardboard box on the bottom shelf, which contains peat pots and plant-info tags and generalized gotta-put-it-somewhere all-weather crap, seemed to be full of dead leaves.

This didn’t surprise me much–I live under a bunch of trees, and the deck is always covered in dead leaves, pine needles, sweetgum balls, and other things to be herded off with the shop broom. I pulled the box out a little ways, intending to grab the leaves and dump ’em in my trash bag.

And paused.

And said “Goodness, that’s a lot of leaves…”

And paused.

And said “Holy shitmonkeys…eggs?!”

As many of my readers, who are brighter than I am, had probably already guessed, it was a nest. The box had been packed full of dead leaves and pine needles, and in a neat little fluffy spiral hollow that opened on the side were three creamy, brown-speckled eggs about the size of malted milk balls.

My guess is that it’s a Carolina wren nest–fits the description, they’ll nest practically anywhere, and they’re always all over the deck. I don’t know anything about wren nesting–whether the eggs are going to hatch or should have already, or what, since everything else seems to have hatched already–but I carefully pushed the box back in, didn’t touch anything, and left it alone. I am perfectly willing to lose the use of my potting shelf if the wrens need it, and I hope I didn’t alarm ’em by touching what is now their stuff.

I’ll keep ya posted…

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