Saturday, July 14, 2007

Another Mystery Nest, Or Perhaps A Burrow?

Now what kind of bird or beastie uses that?

It all started when I forgot the hoe. I'd walked out to the garden carrying gloves, trowel, the watering can and, oops. I'd forgotten the hoe. Drat, back I go in the other direction. Wow, the grass coming out of that mound reminds me of the Meadowlark nest. Of course that was coming out of raised substrate and this is a mound. Wait a minute, just what is that "mound" doing in the corner of the sidewalk anyway. Hmmm.

Up the step, to the hoe and I look down. That looks like a grass mat. The needles didn't just wash into the corner of the walk in the rain. The Evergreens are in the front yard and far back to the side in the backyard. Too far away and uphill over the mound of earth besides. Bunnies? No. That mat wouldn't cover many baby bunnies so too small for them. Maybe the needles blew there?
Nope. It's woven in a circular pattern. Nature tends towards circles. (Human building tends towards straight lines, ever notice that?) Definitely a mat.

I move some of the grass aside.
AHA!!! There's the hole! Big enough for a variety of birds but I haven't seen any ground nesters around and that heap of dirt came from digging. Digging birds? I'd have noticed a Burrowing Owl, the holes too small and the thought too far fetched. Drat, I'd love to have Burrowing Owls in the backyard. What about a Chipmunk? I've seen lots of Chipmunk holes and it 's the right size but I've never seen one covered with a mat? Perhaps it's only covered with a mat when there are baby Chipmunks involved?

What do you think? Here's a view with a trowel for perspective.
Donegal Browne

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