Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Sense of Loss

It is surprising how many little things add texture to our lives when you think about it. We all have little things that help to make us comfortable or add a measure of  joy to our existence. Or maybe not. For some people it seems, joy in life is being miserable. But, that is another story.

One of the things that always adds a small dab of joy to many of my days is the sight of a pair of wrens and their great example of fidelity. If they aren't within eyesight of each other, they are always at least within shouting distance. And, for a such little bird, they do have a booming voice. They do everything together. If  you see one at the feeder, it was a sure bet to see the other one somewhere close by looking in cracks between deck boards for bugs.

Earlier, in the spring of this year, I posted some photos of the pair coming and going with food for their young. They had constructed a nest in one of the flower baskets we hung this year.

We also have another hanging basket that is left up year round. I had constructed a little "cave" out of one of those semi-disposable plastic storage containers. Sand at the bottom with leaves over that and a little sphagnum moss added. In winter, the pair would come in, usually well before dark, and retire to the cave. It hangs far back on the porch keeping it out of the wind and any rain or snow. Even if we weren't sitting out on the porch for them to fuss at when they came in the evening, I would hear their loud conversation from inside the house and know they were retiring for the evening. It was almost like watching a little processional the way they would retire each evening.

In the last month or so, I had only been seeing one wren — and that only occasionally. When I was filming the hummingbirds, one of the pair had come in and landed on a "prop" near the feeder. The bird was looking pretty disheveled, but I thought it was molting. Maybe it wasn't.

Yesterday, I took everything off the porch to power wash it, including the little hanging basket "cave." That is when I discovered the remains of one of the wrens. It is odd because my wife had experienced the same thing at work where a wren had returned to the last nest where she had raised her young and died there. Perhaps they saw it as a familiar and safe place to spend their last hours. I couldn't help but feel a sense of loss for  a little sprite that has always brought joy to my world just by living out it's life around my house.

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