There is a tree opposite the room where my computer lives. In summer the tree is covered with leaves, as most trees are. When the season changes the leaves fall and discloses the secrets of the tree.
In the top branches there is a collection of twigs. They are not growing on the tree, but are a collection placed in a strategic place to hold them firmly. It has been there for a few years. There must be a reason. It is too big for a sparrow or tit and the crow colony do their own thing in a group of trees surrounding our apparment block.
It can only be the magpie. I decided to enlighten myself and asked Internet. There were similar photos of magpie nests which confirmed my suspicions.
There is no reason not to know something today if you have a computer, even an ipad or smartphone: just google it, and you will find the answer, complete with illustrations and perhaps even a film in this case. I had really been wondering about this tree assembly and my suspicion is confirmed. It has been in this particular tree for a few years. Either the magpies just leave it when the babies fly the nest, or they are a lazy bunch and use it every year.
I am a researcher, like to know the reason why, although not everything can be relied on googling it. My neurologist expressly warned me about googling information of my MS illness, as not all sources can be relied upon. There is always a certain amount of “common sense” to be applied in googling.
Some time ago I was searching for a weird growth on a basil plant I bought at the supermarket.
It began as a few white threads and I really thought it was producing new roots from a joint in the stem. However it grew and was slowly winding itself around the plant and even itself. I asked my gardner and he had never seen anything like it. I posted it on my site here and I was lucky. A very helpful fellow blogger saw my photo. He lives in a valley somewhere in California, but informed me that this was probably something known as dodder, which I had never heard of living in the wilds of Europe.
Of course I checked this and found it to be a parasite common in California that engulfs plants to the extent that you only see the dodder growth eventually. European dodder does exist, according to Internet, but this Californian species seems to be the daddy of them all. How it arrived in Switzerland I do not know, it was probably lurking in the earth waiting for a chance to go forth and multiply. There would have been a danger of it spreading to other plants. I learned something new and also met a very helpful colleague in connection with plant knowledge.
Advice was offered from Facebook colleagues that it was probably common bindweed, but this specimen had no flowers, just an eerie looking stalk that curled everywhere. If someone had suggested it was a triffid I would have probably believed it.
So if you really want to be enlightened then ask Google, but remember Google is man-made and we tend to misinterpret the facts, or adapt their answer to suit ourselves. In the words of my dad “What came first, the chicken or the egg”. Google and my dad never found the answer to that question and dad passed away two years ago aged 100 and 7 months, so perhaps it is better if we google it. You have a 50% chance of getting the right answer.