Mud thoughts

No, not musing on ugly campaign tactics, walking under the freeway.  Wednesday was so beautiful I made another trek  under Over World.  And there was joy in Mudville when mighty CollageMama looked up.

With color on hiatus, texture is much more visible.  The many installations of mud tubes on the concrete support columns and beams under the freeway ramps impressed me with their structural precision and beauty.  Thanks to a former teacher/365photographer in Tennessee, I've learned they are made by organ pipe mud dauber wasps.  [No, that was not Mork's wife.]  Male mud dauber wasps guard the nest while the females go hunting for orb spiders to stuff into the pipes to feed the little ones.  Okay, I'm not going to make the manicotti for supper tonight...

There are many mud bird nests under the freeway access ramps, but not any under the main lanes of US 75.  Too much noise and vibration?  Or maybe to far a first flight to open sky?  There is a shortage of graffiti, too.  Will the birds and spray paint artists return to nest in the spring?  What can I learn about teaching clay projects for children from the birds, the wasps, and the tire tracks?

Heading back toward the trailhead, a word that sounds ridiculous in this urban setting, I annoyed a great blue heron in the creek on beyond the graffiti column.  The heron flew away against the traffic.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...


Kim said...

Thinking of happy days making mud pies on my grandmother's back porch oh so many years ago. The grandmother who let us try anything we (my cousins and I wanted) and who felt it important that we 1. be allowed to jump on beds, 2. be allowed to eat chocolate covered cherries, and 3. taught us how to kill and skin and de-gut a chicken. My other grandma had other lessons, less colorful but equally important.


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