A small surprise

In a previous life, when I had a lot more free time and was in better shape and lived where there were rivers handy, I did a lot of river canoeing, and I’ve still got the little whitewater playboat to prove it. When we moved here four years ago we roped a tarp tightly around it like a big lumpy package and put it up beside the shed on the homemade equivalent of sawhorses. And there it has sat.

But we decided to haul it out for today’s excursion, because we wanted to paddle with the friend who lent us the kayaks, and there are only 2 of those. Whitewater boats aren’t designed to paddle on flatwater. They don’t like to go in straight lines, being designed to spin on a dime so you can nip into eddies while descending rapids and suchlike, and it takes extra work to force them to go straight. But since we’re only planning on ambling about in a small bay, we figure that won’t matter much, and loading and bringing it is much easier than dealing with our tandem flatwater boat, which can be paddled solo but isn’t nearly as comfortable when doing so.

So today I unwrapped the canoe to load it onto the truck.

Well. It has been a while. Guess what I found?   

birds nest nestled in blue tarp

Yes, it is indeed a bird’s nest, embedded deep in the folds of the tarp. We suspect a towhee, since they’re apparently secretive in their nesting habits, although they’re supposed to nest on the ground, so we’re not sure. It consists of artfully arranged twigs and some miscellaneous this and that, including a piece of tape and a whole lot of previously-used dog hair.

I must say I’m very thankful that the babies had already flown.

birds nest with gardening glove
Removed from its unnatural environs (we DO want to go paddling), with a gardening glove for scale.

2 thoughts on “A small surprise

    1. I’m not sure, what kind of swallows do you have? Barn swallows build with mud, so it’s certainly not that. This was pretty close to the ground, only a couple of feet up.

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