09 August, 2010

Weaving dreamcatchers

I am not a poetry person. Words, I love, and the last line of this poem is embroidered on my mind.

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven
 by William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Caged bird, with friends outside. SpirulinO dreaming of flight. The friends outside dreaming of mozzarella,  and food, which doesn’t have to be foraged for. It is just, delivered, manna from heaven. And behind bars ... we would be safe from that cat, who lurks in the shadows.

Bare branches of our ash trees lit up with Christmas baubles. Red bishops were just turning colour mid-July, a week later in full spectacular TWO tones of red, fired up with black. The older males add orange on their backs, to set off the youthful crimson. Poor ash tree, you wouldn't think a flock of little birds weighs much. But, altogether now, one two three, and the ash tree bough makes a deep bow of obeisance. Whoomph!

 Last November

Visitors at our front door, get tied up, watching our weaver birds tying knots.

And weaving their nests. We have both the Cape Weaver, mostly yellow, and the Masked Weaver, with his black face.  Sparrows, weavers and bishops in our mixed flock, are all part of one zoological family. But while the weavers and bishops have tangled personal lives, to match their elaborately woven nests, the sparrows prefer a nuclear family.

Pencil and Leaf has been working on the sparrow’s nest. Follow the story to Mr Sparrow leaning over the wall and yelling at the neighbours. And to close, a new blog, Stacy's Microcosm from Albuquerque in New Mexico - because she uses words with grace and charm, and there are birds ... Fools-gold

October brings Baby-forest-and-earthworms-at-Org-de-Rac
Pictures by Jurg and Diana, words by Diana of Elephant's Eye


  1. Dear Diana of EE, I think that your posting of today is poetic in itself as it weaves together ideas and thoughts around a central theme. Yes, this is the stuff of dreams.

    As for the flower arranging class. That looks frighteningly professional. It is as much as I can do to thrust a bunch of flowers into a vase, never mind weave a whole 'spun sugar' confection around it all!!

  2. Good Morning Diana, I love the Yeats and Weaver bird at work... what wild arranging goes on there... fun! The flower arrangements too. ;>)

  3. That is a very unique vase decoration. I have never seen it.

    Like your poetry. And your collages.Those birds work so hard at building their nests. I keep thinking about Mary Poppins: A robin feathering his nest has very little time to rest!

  4. What a dreamy post. I enjoyed that very much. Loved the flower arrangement and the birds, who seemed to be weaving their own dreamcatchers. Happy dreaming, Diana.

  5. I love your birds. It must be wonderful to see those red bishops and weavers. They are stunning!

  6. Ahhh, one of my favourite poems ever. I had it read on my wedding day. I have loved this post as one of your best! Those amazing birds (great photos by the way)bright red headed ones and others weaving their artistic homes - oh I would be a proud owner of one of those - beautiful xxxxx
    I don't like the caged birds though, that makes me sad :(

  7. Thank you so much for the kind word! I've been enjoying discovering your own blog and the slice of South African life you present--I'm also enjoying your blogroll a great deal!

    Spirulina's story is a lovely one. I would never have guessed that other birds would socialize so cheerfully with a bird that isn't part of their own family, flock, or even species. You must have seen some fascinating bird "politics" unfold in the past few months...

  8. Edith - Elbeth is an international floral artist, who happens to live in our neighbouring town.

    Carrie - when we rescued Spirulino back in January we thought he was just going to grow out his feathers. And fly. Sadly his wings aren't right and he can't fly. For him it is life in a cage, or die free. Birds in cages make me sad too, but he sings most beautifully, and chats to the neighbours ;>)

  9. FROM http://gippslandgardener.wordpress.com
    Hello Diana, I too would get quite caught up watching the weaver birds weave their nests. Just amazing. As for the red bishop birds and their reds and oranges beautifully brought out by their black feathers...again I would be transfixed!'cheers, Heidi.

  10. Hello Diana...That is one of my favorite Yeats poems and "tread softly because you tread on my dreams" is a symphony in one line.

    I'm fascinated by the floral design incorporating a dreamcatcher made of string(?) It looks contemporary, big, and beautiful.

  11. Diana, the nests your weaver birds make are so charming, I love them. I could probably sit and watch them for hours if I was there. I'm always fascinated by nest architecture. I've been following the nesting sparrow adventures on Val's site, but I think I'm one installment behind. Off to catch up, and see if the sparrow's luck has improved yet!

  12. The weaver's are quite industrious! How fascinating they must be to watch. How sad that your bird must be caged, but how kind of you to take him in to care for. My daughter had a caged bird for several years... the birds outside the window would sing to him amd he would obligingly sing back. The cage has sat empty for years... I enjoy the birds outside my windows.

  13. Diana, your photos of those weaving birds are so amazing...I've never seen such a thing in person!

  14. Hello,
    I love the nests and you did a great post today.

  15. Diana, I like the structure of this post. You have woven a good one, with the lovely comparison between the woven cloth of dreams, floral human weaving (such cool design!), and the weaver birds. :)

    If I ever visited, I could probably sit spellbound all day, watching them create their magical nests. Their color reminds me of the goldfinches we have visiting our feeder now, only the males' brilliant mating colors are already starting to fade back to normal now that the spring/early summer hatchings are finished. In full spring regalia, glowing lemon yellow, they are something special for this temperate climate, and caused F. to stop speechless in his tracks the first time he saw one.

  16. I love that poem! I really enjoyed this post. Your weaver birds are amazing. It must be fascinating to watch them at work!


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
For real time, click on the map.