The towering maple, stuffed with green leaves a mere month ago, is now disrobed - save for a few brittle leaves still hanging on with all the strength their withering bodies can muster. The shedding of leaves reveals an abandoned nest.
In the summer, we heard sweet squeaks coming from the nest and often witnessed a busy mother robin gathering worms from our grass. We could see the bottom of the nest from our patio, but had no idea what was happening inside. Even from our upstairs window, it was sheltered by the abundant leaves of the maple.
Last night, strong gusts of wind shook the trees, while rain and tree debris pelted our house. I half-expected not to see the nest when I opened the curtains this morning. But, there it sits. Bound firmly to the branch to which the mother robin originally attached it. Nature's strong winds were no match for nature's delicate, yet brilliant, weaving of grass and twigs.
Maybe it will be refurbished in the spring by another mother robin for her brood. Maybe it will remain vacant. Either way, I have no doubt this testament to nature's strength - a seemingly fragile structure - will remain rooted in that very spot for years to come.