Tuesday, April 2, 2013


It was a wind much more suited to the barrens of January than to the first full week of  spring.  It pushed me up the front porch steps like a noisy crowd and continued to whip me around while I fumbled, regrettably gloveless, for my keys. From just behind the door, I could hear the happy snuffling of two furry dogs waiting to greet me as I reached to let myself in.  It was then that I saw it, nestled securely within the knitter’s wreath I’d made last year to brighten a winter's day.  A more perfect little house a hobbit himself could not imagine.  Wee round door, sturdy little roof.  I recognized it immediately as the well-crafted cottage of the wren.

It seemed the grey feathered couple had used our front door as a support and fashioned a home for themselves like none other I’d seen.  The wreath, being crafted of yarn balls, pine cones and moss, gave them ample and snug shelter from the weather in addition to  bestowing the sort of curb appeal sure to elicit envy in the robin and the jay.  Enchanted at the sight of such a beautiful abode, I stood there for a few long moments before I began to see the flaw in the otherwise sublime design.  Built as it was, squarely in the middle of our front door, wouldn’t it be slightly disconcerting, if not downright dizzying, to have one’s home hurtle through space each time that door was opened?

Later that afternoon The Songwriter and I sat discussing the problem.
Me:  “Well, I suppose we could always just use the back door for a while.”
Him:  “Not an option.  Besides, what about people who come to visit?”
Me:  “Perhaps they’ll abandon the nest.  They’ve already been bounced around a good bit today already”.
Him:  “She won’t leave it she’s already laid her eggs.”

Together, we ventured out on the porch.  The little wren, no doubt seriously harried now, once again flew from the depths of her cozy home as the door was opened.  Feeling like the worst of trespassers, the two of us peeked inside.  There in the light of a setting sun sat five tiny eggs, each one bluer than Wonderland.  Sighing, we stood back and stared at each other.
“Leave it to me”, said The Songwriter,
 as he set off to the back garden with a glint in his eye.  

An hour later, obviously feeling quite proud, he escorted me out on the front porch to inspect his handiwork.  The wreath had been moved.  Measuring carefully, he’d rehung it from a red wire securely suspended from the painted ceiling, at precisely the same height as before.  With the brick wall as its new backdrop, the nest was more protected than ever, even if the wreath looked a tad eccentric hanging there. 
 We waited to see if the wren would return.  
The wait wasn’t long.  
Watching from the window, we saw her fly in as soon as we went back indoors. 

There are many squirrel nests in the tall trees that encircle our cottage, much to Apple’s chagrin. 
 A family of owls frequents the back garden.  Their offspring, furry-feathered and strange,
rock back and forth on the poplar limbs.
Rabbits nestle deep down neath the ivy; the bandit Raccoon burrows nearby.  
And now a family of wrens are at home, warm and dry, on the porch.
  I thought of them all as I snuggled down in the sheets last night.  Rain was pouring down; an occasional rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance.  Edward heaved a heavy sigh as he placed his big head atop my feet.  Sound asleep and no doubt dreaming of the squirrels, Apple grumbled softly from her spot in the window seat.
So many creatures call this place home.
Happy to share my nest,  I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
And I bet I wasn’t the only one.


  1. Ah, the intrepid wren. What it lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in voice and bravado. Sadly, they don't often visit my yard. I wish they would. After reading your post, I'll be falling asleep with a smile on my face too. Thank you. "A pleasure shared..."

  2. I am so pleased this worked Pamela - I do sometimes think that birds do understand that some of us want to help them. I hopoe Mrs Wren rears her brood successfully.

  3. How lovely!!

    I love the wren..you are lucky, hope they love their little nest. How enterprising of The SongWriter, what a star.


  4. What a lovely story! We have nests allover the garden and I am always curious who finds a home here next to us! xoxo

  5. The cutest thing ever. I so love those moments. It is what makes life worth living.

  6. Here in Wisconsin I've been wondering when spring would really come, seeing your post reminds me we don't have long to wait!

  7. What a lovely tale, and the luckiest wee wrens. They are one of my favourite birds.

  8. Oh Pamela...Madame Robin tried valiantly to build a nest in the grapevine wreath on my front door last Spring. Unfortunately, being in a townhome, we have to use our front door, so, sadly I had to take the wreath down. I hope she relocated happily!

  9. A wonderful solution! I hope spring arrives in your neck of the woods soon!
    xx Sunday

  10. I know, I know exactly how you felt! I go through similar soul wrenching when the Carolina wrens nest here. they are my favorite birds, so resilient, loud for their tiny size, the best parents, and their nests always kept immaculately clean (as opposed to the finches messy living quarters!).
    I still have two ugly deader than dead Boston ferns swinging on the front porch, embarassing when company comes calling. They have been the Winter bedrooms of a pair of wrens. Each evening just before dark, one calls to the other from the porch and then each hops into a planter. As the evenings become lighter they arrive later, always heralding bedtime with loud chirps. Soon it will be time to replace the ferns with new bright green ones of course. Then the wrens usually build a nest in the faux floral display hanging on a porch wall - or for many years in the kitchen window box - love them there as it makes washing dishes more fun!

    Lovely story Pamela. Glad you were able to move the wreath to a safe place - keep us up to date with the new family additions - they are certainly early with Spring having been so chilly so far.

    Hugs - Mary

  11. The Songwriter saved the day !! I think that the wren was most fortunate to have built her nest on your doorstep. We have many, many birds in our garden but, I don't think that, apart from the pigeons who nest all year round, I have seen any nests being built yet......but, with clear blue skies and some warming sun today, I think that Spring might just have sprung !! XXXX

    This spring has been so very slow and cold
    this warmed by heart!

  13. I am so glad the Songwriter was able to configure the sweet nest so everyone is happy. Please let us know when you hear the sweet tweety sounds of wee ones.

  14. this is a story partial to my own heart. i love wrens.
    i recently sold my home and moved to a tiny one room apartment.
    like your 'nests' . . . i smile.
    because it is right for me.
    and i named it 'the wren house'
    as usual. . .
    i come here and find enchantment.

  15. Pamela,
    I love this story. We had a wren family take residence in a decorative bird house on a post in our garden one spring. We loved watching the mommy and daddy try to pull large twigs into the 2" opening. They worked at nesting and then we were delighted to see the babies fly away in independence sometime later. The post to the house rotted and is awaiting a new post for this year. You've inspired me to get going on this. Keep us posted on the progress of the wren family.

  16. So pleased you managed to move the little nest. Their new position and home look so cosy :)

  17. A nest of newly laid eggs is wonderful to observe. We have been so lucky to have had this opportunity a couple of Springs. Enjoy!

  18. I love when this happens; when nature finds ways to use what is around them (unlike many humans). We had a family of wrens one year in a birdhouse that hung from the apple tree our deck was built around. We watched mama nesting each night as we at our dinner out there, and we waited and waited. What a surprise it was to hear the chirping and see a little head pop on on the Fourth of July!

    Loved this, Pamela.

  19. Yeah to the songwriter, hero of birds! There must be song in that. Thanks for sharing that heart warming story.

  20. That little wren must be a happy camper now. You tell such a beautiful story. I bet you help him write songs too. We had a nice Easter, next week it will warm up.

  21. I don't know who is luckier--you or the wrens! We are enjoying watching a pair of crows gather sticks and fly into a nearby spruce to construct their nest. A few years ago we had white-breasted nuthatches nest and raise their brood in the hole of our old apple tree in the backyard. As an avid birder who is always in search of nests, I couldn't have been more delighted! We still have our beautiful Christmas wreath up, but so far no one has shown any interest in taking up residence… Do enjoy your front-row seat to one of Nature's miracles! I'm envious!


I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!