Yesterday on Lammas I just had a simple outside ritual alone. At the western stones of my Snake-hedge circle i placed a brightly colored bowl painted with the sun and flowers and filled it with a corn offering. Then i laid on top of it my bolline, which i use to cut herbs and such, and an old sickle i founds amongst my late Dad or Granddad’s stuff. Then i did a simple prayer of thanks to the gods for the good harvest of the farmers around here with the right balance of rain and sun so far this summer. I tried to take some pictures but they all came out too blurry to process and post. Later i decided to sharpen up that old sickle and paint the handle black. After sharpening it well i was wrapping the blade in paper tape to protect it from the paint and basically filleted my upper right hand so that it bled copiously for awhile. I thought for a minute of putting some blood on the outside corn offering, but did not want to draw any Aztec gods for sure!!!
Today the baby wrens fledged and i got to see it happen for the first time. In my nine summers here, usually in late May, a loud male wren will build a nest under the the lid of my propane tank, which is a perfect nesting site, in the east where it does not get too hot, well covered, with holes on the sides, safe from cats and snakes. He will land on the rhododendron bush just outside my living room window and loudly proclaim to any females to look at what a fine nest he is building for them. I understand sometimes they will build a couple nests until a female pays enough attention.
The female came late this year and laid her 5–6 eggs about a month ago. I only peek in once a week to not disturb her. She is very quiet so as to not attract any attention. About three weeks ago i saw her arrive quietly with a grub of some kind to feed, so i peeked in and found 3 slightly feather young and maybe two pinkies that must have just hatched. After about a week she will start to announce her arrival at the nest to coax them out. Usually the male sticks around to help her feed them, but i do not know what happened this year, so she had to do it all alone.
Also last week the guy came to fill the tank. I usually schedule a filling before or after nesting time because i worry about the propane hurting the eggs or young birds. So i help my hand over the nest to keep them from scaring out too early and getting the gas on them and it worked as they all survived.
Wrens grow big and fledge very fast. So this morning i finally witnessed two of them take their first short flight from nest to rhododendron bush with the mom close by. Then one sat for awhile on the ground, which worried me because i was afraid one of my cats, who likes to poop over there wound find it. So i went out and it flew off and got about half way across my small shallow stream and then landed in the water and continued to use its wings to swim across to the other bank where it climbed up the rocks safe and sound there. So this brave little fledgling had quite a day, learning to fly and swim within a few minutes of each other! LOL.
I enjoy watching this little precious drama of nature every summer, and miss them when they are gone as the constant chatter outside my window becomes silent until next year.
This all happened so fast this morning and i did not want to disturb anything or alert the cats so did not get any pics, so the ones above i googled and their sources are listed and the one below is of the empty nest.
Empty Nest, until nest year.
Blessed Be little Lammas wrens!