The Edge of the Wood

by John Messeder, Nemophilist & Ecological Storyteller

Look what I found (and what I didn’t)

A catbird chick, without even many feathers, sits on a bicycle chain, apparently pondering whether to reach the pedalsSometimes you just know something. You can’t prove it, but you know it’s true.

Thus it was with a catbird (at least I think it’s a catbird) in our front yard. Somewhere in the shrubs is a nest. I know that because Mama bird flitters around and squawks and tries to convince me the nest is where it ain’t, so I’ll not detect where it is.

So far, she’s been successful. Yesterday, I looked all over a shrub in which she was bouncing from branch to branch, random patterns that could only be construed as “Boy, was she pissed off.” I figured I was close to her offspring – but darned if I could find them.

Today, same thing. I walked out the front door and she entered from my peripheral vision dancing on the ground, flapping her wings like a wild woman, begging me to follow her. I’m wise to the trick, so I looked where I thought she’d come from.

No luck.

Later in the afternoon, I found part of my quest. As Mom fluttered around daring me to come after her, a chick popped out of the bushes and into the garage, where he climbed through the bicycles before we finally coaxed him back outside. He disappeared into another shrub.

I still haven’t found the nest. I hope the youngster made its way back to it, because he’s clearly too small to ride a bike.


  1. Great story, John. Here’s hoping the cats don’t find them. My daughter has finches nesting in her hanging geraniums.

    • My wife found a bird nest with four eggs in one of her hanging spider plants. Unfortunately, she found the nest after she had taken the pot down and hosed it pretty heavily. Mama bird never came back. We were both pretty bummed.

    • How sad. Next spring/summer you’ll keep an eye on that spider plant, won’t you?

    • John

      August 9, 2012 at 17:55

      Definitely will be watching all the plants for birds entering therein.

  2. Birds on the brain, one in the bush, and none in your hand. There’s a proverb there, somewhere…

    Nice piece!

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