A beautiful little house wren has built a nest in a basket on our back porch. What a clever little bird she is! Not only does she have a view to die for, as the back porch overlooks the creek and waterfall, but she also has two big guard dogs to keep her and her babies safe. Yesterday morning she sat on the edge of her basket and looked me straight in the eye as if to say a cheerful, "Good morning!" and proceeded to belt out the happiest little song you ever heard. I think she knows she's got it made. Here is a photo of her nest.
It positively looks like lace! And I also see in there some small dried nuts or berries, and of course the soft green moss. This brings up an intriguing question. If she is going to the extra effort to make her nest more beautiful, why? Is beauty necessary? The obvious purpose of the nest is to keep herself and her babies snug and warm and dry until they are ready to leave, so why make it beautiful as well? Do you think that animals have aesthetic sensibilities as we do? It would certainly seem so. But, what is the purpose of beauty? Certainly, an ugly nest would do just as well? And considering the big picture, ugly creatures like cockroaches and monkfish reproduce just as abundantly, if not more so, than beautiful ones like peacocks and butterflies. So, I say that beauty is really not necessary for survival. And yet, it is everywhere. Even in the smallest details of this little wren's nest. I believe it is a gift. What do you think?