Old mother wren

“He who shall hurt the little wren…
Shall never be be’loved by men.”

William Blake

(images of a mad mother wren / Julie Cook / 2016)

A mother wren decided to build her nest, lay her eggs, raise her brood under the tarp covering of our tractor which sits underneath our back deck.
Since the babies hatched about two weeks ago, there has not been a moments peace for human nor cat who enjoys sitting on the deck or even venturing in the back yard for a stroll.
We have all been chased back inside and as for bush hogging the pasture, forget it…the grass will just have to keep growing until 5 babies can leave the nest….

Here they are two weeks ago…


Here they are today…


A Wren’s Nest
Among the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren’s
In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.

And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye
For shadowy quietness.

These find, ‘mid ivied abbey-walls,
A canopy in some still nook;
Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.

There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long.

Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting bird’s return,
Her eggs within the nest repose,
Like relics in an urn.

But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best;
And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest;

This, one of those small builders proved
In a green covert, where, from out
The forehead of a pollard oak,
The leafy antlers sprout;

For She who planned the mossy lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill,
Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfill.

High on the trunk’s projecting brow,
And fixed an infant’s span above
The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest
The prettiest of the grove!

The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain
Can turn to little things; but once
Looked up for it in vain:

‘Tis gone—a ruthless spoiler’s prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song,
‘Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
Indignant at the wrong.

Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light the moss-built cell
I saw, espied its shaded mouth;
And felt that all was well.

The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves;
And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives.

Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent,
Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,

Rest, Mother-bird! and when thy young
Take flight, and thou art free to roam,
When withered is the guardian Flower,
And empty thy late home,

Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the unviolated grove
Housed near the growing Primrose-tuft
In foresight, or in love.

William Wordsworth


(images of a mad mother wren / Julie Cook / 2016)

9 comments on “Old mother wren

  1. ColorStorm says:

    You know what jewels? The other day I was considering the simplenesss of the robin’s nest.

    Not so fast. Simple? Nope, never. Genius, understated, elegant, and a peek into the universe in all its wonder.

    Contained in that design is the hardwire of the Creator, who has fashioned his goodness into the most unassuming of things. A spiders web, a fox hole, now a nest, each different, but perfectly mated to the need.

    But agreed, what person would purposefully hurt a wren? Tkx for taking this idea to another level. ‘Under the tarp and tractor.’ Perfect. 😉

    • and don’t stop there my friend…take a wasp’s paper structure or the hornets..what of a bee hive packed with wax sealed chambers of honey—absolutely amazing…and to think that there are those who see nothing more than necessity evolving—I see wonders that have reached far and wide from the heavens above—meticulously wrought by God’s benevolent hand—if there is not love seen within the natural world around us… then I don’t know where it may be found….

  2. Lynda says:

    What gentle souls you and your husband are to wait for the nest to be empty of the babies before taking out the tractor! Thanks for sharing this beautiful example of how you are showing respect for all of God’s creation.

    • The funny thing Lynda is that Brenton and Abby have a wreath hung on their front door…a mother wren has built a nest in the wreath. The wren has flown into the house on several occasions when they inadvertently forgot to first shake the door to get the wren to fly out long enough for them to get out—-they thought to take the wreath down but there were eggs. Now there are babies and they are patiently dipping in and out of the house 🙂

  3. Beautiful words and photos.

  4. anneharrison says:

    Just lovely. We have similar problems with nesting birds, but I always feel blessed for having them around, and that they feel safe enough at my place to raise their babies.

    • I do as well—sort of a private privilege…that they do feel safe…and I get the blessing of watching little ones grow and thrive!
      Thank you for you wonderful words..

  5. Love your photos of the wren! Love Wordsworth! Love the Wren Poem!
    Love you! 🙂 ❤

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