Sunday, February 10, 2008

Everything happens for a reason

The beautiful vibrant leafed Saritaea Climber that had risen to the level of the lake view gallery died out on us a few months ago. This is the second climber that has grown to full size and died out at this very location. I wonder what the reason could be – too much water? , Something damaging the roots? Who knows! The answer will present itself at some time I presume.

It was difficult to move on though and I stubbornly let the hardened vine framework be, refusing to cut it out and plant something new just in case it decided to wake up from what I hoped was a period of hibernation. I soon began to enjoy the the stark look of this twiggy framework and decided to wait a while before growing something over it. And then just last week while sitting here and musing about it I noticed a beautifully crafted nest attached to one of the dead branches.
I instantly felt happy and excited to see this wonderful piece of architecture and also grateful for not having cut down the dead climber it was attached to. I took a few pictures of the nest, put my camera away and came back to look at it and puzzle over whom it belonged to.

Pretty soon I spotted a female sunbird, greenish brown above and yellowish below. It came by, hesitated for a micro second and then boldly flitted forward to perch before the nest and continue about its business as usual with me sitting there not even 8 feet away. I dared not get up to fetch my camera but simply sat there enjoying the special moment. Our questions about nature can be answered if we can simply take time to sit and stare.

Sunbirds are a tropical species, very small birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. The males are usually brilliantly plumaged in metallic colors. They find counterparts in two very distantly related groups: the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia which share the similar nectar-feeding lifestyle. Unlike the hummingbird they perch to feed although they can take nectar while hovering. They are easy to spot from the lake view gallery and at the entrance garden in the late afternoon.

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