Egg Book

A friend of mine once told me that his expertise in ancient Chinese ceramics grew directly out of his childhood passion for birds' nest. He would find them, fondle the eggs, feel their heft in his hand, examine their pattern and color. One of the books I came across in Judy's house is called Egg and Nest; I could not get enough of the gorgeous color pictures of eggs, and all the information about what the birds used to make their nests. (The photo of the egg above, a red-winged blackbird, is a picture of a picture from the book, by the way. I wish I could find one of these eggs, but I never have, though these bossy birds dominate my meadow.)

One of my more eccentric--I admit it--housekeeping tips: throw your dryer lint to the winds, as well as the hair from your hairbrush. The birds will appreciate that soft material (as will the mice). I once left an Easter basket full of those weirdly colored plastic strips of "grass" out overnight. The contents had disappeared by morning, and that winter, when the leaves fell and the branches were bare, I found the most gaily-colored nest, with pink and blue ribbons fluttering down the sides....


Unknown said...

Dominique..the photo is sublime.
You should send this post over to the Old Grey Mare to participate in her Project Genesis.
This little act of recycling our dryer lint to the birds and mice is utterly precious.

pve design said...

so symbolic, the egg and the nest.
off to photograph my nest.

david terry said...

A longtime friend of mine (who, like me, is a birdwatcher) has kept a pack of various sealyhams since sometime in the late Roosevelt adminstration (I'm not kidding). I happen to keep west highlands. Both of us have long made a practice of saving all the groomer's clippings, in addition everything from brushing the dogs. Each spring, you simply shove big wads of all that white hair into crevices around the top of the porch columns. It's always gone within a few days....and, come winter, you (or, at least, I) find your hedges filled with lovely nests, made of twigs and white hair.

you couldn't BUY anything prettier. I've filled two large (you could stack about five of the large Campbell soup cans in them), antique chemistry-lab suspension jars with these nests. They may not be the weirdest thing you'll see in this house, but they're certainly among the prettiest.

thanks for the good posting, as usual.

David Terry

Deana Sidney said...

I am mad for bird's nests, from the mighty jumble of the eagle's nest to the thrush's small works of art . Dog hair should be left out as well. With a St. Bernard, I lined many a nest with the pounds of the stuff that I left for them. One of my prized possessions is a tiny nest of tiny twigs and my dog's hair that I found... it is so beautifully made with bits of moss as well. I treasure it. It seems you had a similar experience with the Easter floss. Birds are natural and talented gleaners and builders. Thanks for sharing about that book... it looks just gorgeous.

Karen said...

Thanks for the dryer lint idea, I'm sure the birds in my neighborhood will appreciate it!

karenleslie said...

dog hair? lint? now THAT'S recycling! can't wait to get my copy of "egg and nest" which i promptly ordered. as for the birds in my neighborhood, they're in for some cushy materials for their winter nests. thanks for the great idea!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The bird nests all around our cottage are woven well with Edward's white fur. That pleases me no end.

Lucindaville said...

Rosamond Purcell is a stunning photographer. I love this book!!

dterrydraw said...

Dear Ms. Browning,

Boy, Oh Boy.......

I've just spent my first half hour of leafing through "Egg & Nest", which arrived this afternoon.

Thank you so much for introducing me to this book. It's just lovely.

I've already made a list of five names/friends who are going to get this book as a gift.

Thanks as ever for your blog; just now?....I don't miss "House and Garden" at all, since we seem to still be getting the best part of it.

David Terry