Friday, September 17, 2010
While for us, this time of year means making sure we are prepared for winter with wood for the stove, gasoline for the generator, and some extra food on hand, for the pack rats who share our forest, it means finding a place to settle in for the winter. One quickly seized the opportunity by settling into our wood elevator that takes wood from the garage to the upstairs deck beside the living room.
I love nests of all kinds and am entranced by pack rats' collections and their adorable appearance (but am repelled by their smell). The bulk of this nest was made from twine which had obviously been nibbled from a large spool in the garage. Each piece was approximately 6" long and had been carried up the elevator shaft, probably one by one, then shredded for extra softness. Further enhancements were twigs, moss and lichens.
All of this happened in a very short time, as one day I went to get wood to bring into the house and was startled to be face-to-face with a pack rat, cozy in her nest and obviously none too eager to abandon her new beautifully crafted home.
When my daughters were young, my former husband and I lived in the backwoods of MT with no power, no running water, phone or anything else. When my daughters tired of the large dollhouse their dad had built for them, we put it in the woodshed for the winter with the plastic furniture inside in a box. When spring came and the woodshed emptied, there was a large packrat nest in one corner filled with plastic dollhouse furniture. They had couches, beds, sinks and toilets...all of it. It is a memory that never fails to bring a smile to my face.