Thursday, May 14, 2020


            Sheltering in Place is not quite the same as nesting. As a guy, I’ve never really experienced the nesting instinct – which is the burst of energy many women experience in the last weeks of pregnancy, leading them to reorganize closets and search under the beds for dust bunnies. Doing these tasks out of boredom, or because you discovered an old to-do list. I a few days ago I oiled the squeaking hinges of a couple of our doors, but that was not my nesting instinct. It was, I think, my deep need to feel competent after pouring my morning raisin bran onto a plate sitting beside my bowl.

            Kim has been experiencing a nesting instinct. She’s always been working on our nest – decorating, cleaning, reorganizing, etc. (the old-fashioned word “homemaker” comes to mind), activities for which I am deeply grateful, but her recent burst of energy is something different. Also, thankfully, it is somewhat different from the nesting instinct experienced by pregnant women. Kim’s instinct is an artist’s instinct – to build birds’ nests.

            I blogged about Kim’s building bird nests about five years ago ( ), but this is a bit different. She is now operating as an artist, not as a charmingly deranged birder. A local gallery owner wants to carry about a dozen of her creations when his gallery finally opens, we hope in a month or so. Meanwhile, Kim is busy in her studio, and we take breaks every once in a while to go for walks where we gather nesting material – roots, lichen, grass, moss – supplemented with dryer lint and gray fur from when she trimmed my beard.

            One of the (many) things I learned from Kim is that "framing" the nest is an important part of the creative process. You can't just let the nest lie there on the shelf.  We have also been accumulating old boxes, frames, pieces of driftwood, and molds for making bricks, all of which she uses to provide a creative context for the nests. 

Above is a can we found in an abandoned stretch of New Mexico desert.

Several of her pieces include her photographs.

This is one of our favorites. Kim is not selling it.

Kim makes all the eggs she uses in her nests.

The "frame" here is a container formerly used to make bricks.

It's Kim's hummingbird photo. She used lichen on the next, just as the hummingbirds do.

This hangs on a wall in our enclosed porch, which we call the Nest.

The photo and text here are from an old birding guidebook.

This is a blue jay's nest.

Also from our Nest room.

She has several under glass domes, but they are hard to photograph.

            If this is a nesting instinct, then Kim is really delivering.

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely. Best thing I’ve seen on the pandemic era. Thanks.