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December 22, 2013

A Kind of Magic


I’ve been watching a butcher bird build her spring nest for months - on the highest branches of a jacaranda tree, starting at dawn and working away until dark. She’d drop twigs onto the roof to break them up, then carefully fuss and pick them over. Every twig had to be just so. Hours and hours like this, every day. Fighting off honeyeaters and kookaburras, rebuffing her mate when he’d return with unsuitable materials. In stormy winds today, the nest was blown out of the tree and down onto the grass. She sat on the branch where the nest had been, looking lost. Completely heartbreaking to watch, and the tree too high for me to return it. And then she was off, to start all over again somewhere else.

Here is three months work, from a tiny creature of the world. A home the size of a dinner plate. Perfectly round, perfectly woven, lined with soft coconut shell fibre. An intricacy that is almost unimaginable. If we average that this tiny, perfect creature worked 6 hours a day for 3 months, then this perfect home was 540 hours in the making. And that is a kind of magic. from It May Be No One Should Be Opened

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 22, 2013 8:22 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

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