Thursday, July 28, 2011
Thursday Challenge: Construction :-)
While Sheridan certainly isn't suffering from a shortage of perpetual and annoying road construction or the insanely frenzied building of hundreds of new houses (have they not heard about the glut of unsold homes on the market - ours included?!), I felt uninspired by this week's Thursday Challenge:
"CONSTRUCTION" (Business, Residential, Street, Bridge, Sidewalk, Lego Bricks,...)
Until, that is, I remembered having recently spotted and photographed a huge magpie nest, constructed in a dense thicket of hawthorns, while on a hike with the dogs. Now this is some construction I can get excited about! :-)
(click photos for larger versions)
It's hard to get a sense of scale from these photos, but the nest is at least 2½ feet (76 cm) high. And it was definitely occupied! In fact, it was its owner who drew my attention to it when s/he started yelling, "Get off my lawn!" (or the magpie equivalent thereof) at the dogs and me. :-)
This nest, which may or may not have been new since old nests are repaired and reused, was constructed in an old and very thick stand of huge hawthorn bushes. How the magpies manage to ferry sticks and mud to the construction site and build such a large nest in such a tight space without impaling themselves on the wicked thorns that surround it is amazing. But once done, they've got themselves an impenetrable fortress in what I'd call a seriously "gated community!" Click on this photo to get a good look at these fearsome, dagger-like thorns that surround it...
In case you're unfamiliar with the strikingly beautiful black-billed magpie, here is a photo I took several yeas ago of one flying through the ravine below our deck...
While there are many magpies and their nests around our place, I've never watched any engaged in the actual construction process. But I did find a fantastic blog with this post and its series of phenomenal photos of a pair of magpies building their nest, along with fascinating information about both the birds and their nest-building process...
(It sometimes takes me a couple of tries to successfully get that blog post to come up, but it's worth the extra attempt!)
For more takes on this week's "Construction" theme, visit
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"