About The River

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Treasure in the Christmas Tree

We cut down a tree from my parents woods each year. Some years they can look like a real Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but we do not care. We just enjoy the hunt for the tree together in my parents woods and all voting on that special tree to be called our Christmas tree. This year we picked out a cute spruce. It is a smaller tree than what we normally cut down, but we all loved it and decided to make it our special tree for 2013. We live 2 hours away from my parents, so the tree has a ride back to our house. 

This year we received a surprise. We did not notice the birds nest in the tree when we first cut it down in the woods. Probably because of the high grass around the tree. My son Sam helped me get the tree inside the house. As we put the tree into the stand, we noticed the treasure, a birds nest.

The first thing my son, Atticus said was, "Wow, that little nest made it on the ride home."
The ride is in the back of our pick up, with the wind blowing. And lately we have had some very windy days around here.

We did not know what kind of birds nest it was, so the research began. When studying nature, my favorite book to go to is Anna Botsford Comstock - Handbook of Nature Study

And yes, we found it. The Song Sparrow. The nest is usually placed on the ground or in low bushes not more than five feet from the ground; it varies much in both size and material; it is sometimes constructed of coarse weeds and grasses; and sometimes only fine grass is used.

Have you noticed a little brown bird singing a very sweet song in the early spring? Did the song sound as if set to the words "Little Maid! Little Maid! Little Maid! Put  on the teakettle, teakettle-ettle-ettle"?

Our Treasure in the Christmas Tree

 The Song Sparrow

He does not wear a Joseph's coat of many colors, smart and gay
His suit is Quaker brown and gray, with darker patches at his throat.
And yet of all the well-dressed throng, not one can sing so brave a song.
It makes the pride of looks appear a vain and foolish thing to hear
In "Sweet, sweet, sweet, very merry cheer."

A loft place he does not love, he sits by choice and well at ease
 in hedges and in little trees, the stretch their slender arms above
The meadow brook; and then he sings till all the field with pleasure rings;
Ans so he tells in every ear, that lowly homes to heaven are near
In "Sweet, sweet, sweet, very merry cheer."
Henry Van Dyke  

How about you, do you put up a real tree?
Have ever found a treasure in the branches of your tree?

Happy Wednesday!


  1. How neat! That is a special treasure. The last few years we've cut down trees from our woods to put inside. But this year we have our little kitten Gizmo so I'm not sure if we'll be putting one up this year. He likes to get into everything and I think a tree would be big trouble!

  2. What a beautiful post. I love how much your family, especially the boys appreciated the beauty and wonder of the treasure they found in the tree. How incredibly special.

  3. What a little treasure you have found! And such a delightful verse from Henry Van Dyke. I don't put up a real tree any longer, but I did used to. I find a nest in my hedges almost every summer.

  4. What a sweet little nest! I would so love to hear their song right now instead of the howling wind!

  5. What a fun post, and what an exciting little treasure! I hope you put it back in the tree. That's a very special ornament! BTW, I have that same book - published in 1941. It's beautiful.

    Have a wonderful weekend, and stay safe and warm!


High Fives from Wisconsin!