Full nest, empty nest, Olympic nest

Took these nest photos before I spoke with a hard-core purple martin fanatic. Shot down! These photos show a nest built by house sparrows in a martin house. Alas, the elementary students who found the nest on a nature walk were steered by me to believe it was a purple martin nest.

I'm bummed about being wrong and misguiding students. Still, I'm glad we all examined the items incorporated into the nest. The expert says martins don't add feathers or gum wrappers to their nests. A martin nest is about two inches tall, she says, while a sparrow nest fills the whole interior of a martin house.

Building a nest is the aspect of the Olympics that has intrigued me so far. When I sit down on the couch to watch events I fall asleep or think of something more important to do. What sort of enormous bird did the Swiss architects of the Beijing stadium, Herzog and De Meuron, envision when they started their design? A cross between the dove of peace and the Goodyear blimp?

Even if I don't make it past the quarterfinals in the Olympic MOBO empty nest event, I'll be glad to fling my youngest back to college like an ancient classical ideal discus mama. This long, long summer had some fun moments I will happily paste into my scrapbook when I have a day off and some psychic distance.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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