Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In the bramble

This morning I stood a while and watched a pair of wrens play in a bramble of vines that had colonized the corpse of a fallen poplar. There’s a special grace in the way some birds can navigate dense brush—more impressive, really, than the stunt of soaring through the air. The open sky seems easy compared to the treacherous nets the earth casts across itself. Imagine yourself inside one of those tangles. It would be torture, wouldn’t it? Thorns tearing skin, snatching ferociously at hair and clothes, the rough web of creepers holding fast against all attempts to escape—just thinking about it makes me feel a little panicky. But the birds are very happy inside the trap. They fly around fast and unhindered, no matter how tight the web may be. That dark, convoluted realm is home to them and they don't long for anything different.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Julie H. Rose said...

How lucky you are to see a pair of wrens! They are so well camouflaged, and mostly silent amongst all of what you describe. You write wonderfully about them; I think I would have just said they're "cute." I love their little upturned tails.

Alyssa said...

We have a wren just like that--or a close cousin--nesting in our mailbox right now...

So far she's a mother of two hatchlings, one unbroken egg, and an egg that started to hatch and then mysteriously disappeared.