A friend from Sydney gave me quite a bit of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) from her garden. In Sydney, Spanish Moss grows quite well, but while it will survive here (just) in the mountains, it needs a lot of protection, and it never really thrives.
Undeterred, I hung it from the Japanese Maple, and had been enjoying it for the last five or six months when one day about 10 weeks ago it simply vanished.
I put it down to some of the many blustery gales that we get here and had to console myself with the one or two strands left behind.
That is, until yesterday.
Wattlebirds (Anthochaera carunculata) are a native honey eater, and are very common here, but recently they’ve been behaving very aggressively towards every other bird/animal that enters the garden.
All this activity has been centred on a large cotoneaster bush along one side of the house. It had been very overgrown, but instead of ripping it out when I moved in, I gave it a haircut while I decided what to do with it. Consequently, it has densely leafed up and is quite a nice shape.
So, I went to investigate.
This explains all of the aggressive activity in the garden of late. So, I took a closer look at the nest (waiting until the mother wasn’t guarding it of course)….
And lo and behold, all my missing Spanish Moss has formed the base of the nest.
There’s the little chick.
It’s amazing to see all of the elements from my garden and shed that have been put to use: the Spanish Moss on the base and edges, my straw mulch that features in every photo lines part of the inside, but the pièce de résistance has to be the excess white insulation wool that I stored after the renovation at the very back of my shed…the brave wattle bird had to go inside the shed and pull bits off to make that.
As if the act of, and engineering involved in, nest building weren’t amazing enough, to look at all of the layers used…just incredible!
At least my Spanish Moss has been put to good use.
Happy Gardening 🙂