Today is the southern hemisphere's winter solstice, the year's shortest day and longest night. In southern Tasmania, the lack of daylight is quite noticeable, with the sun not rising until 7.43 and setting at 4.43. To be precise.
For the summer solstice, midsummer, we leave gifts of flowers and chocolates out for the fairies to keep them happy. On the flip side, today we made a gift for the birds, who might need a little extra comfort during these long cold nights. A wire ball stuffed full of materials to help build their nests. I can't remember on whose blog I saw this fantastic idea, but it is a good one.
They are easy and fun to make. We took some pliable wire and wrapped it around a pumpkin for shape. You could use a ball or anything round. You could even skip the first step and use old wire hanging baskets or maybe a pinecone. We carefully removed it from the pumpkin and we had a rough spherical shape. I left a little loop at the top for hanging.
Then we stuffed it full of interesting scraps from around the house and garden: wool, fleece, string, cotton threads, hair out of hairbrushes, clumps of possum fur, feathers from the chook house, tiny scraps of old fabric and moss.
We took them outside in today's precious sunshine and hung them in the trees. Over the next few months, we'll keep an eye out for nests in the garden to see if the birds have used any of the gifts we left for them.
Now we're back inside for soup and scones by the fire. We'll be lighting lots of candles tonight to remind us that the sun is on it's way back. Hope you're keeping warm and cosy too.