What did I do?
Hat on, gloves on, went out the back door of the garage and tried to attack the limbs of the Maples that have been scratching the wall and roof. Too high. Grumble. Stood on the deck and brought down some portions of limbs that were hovering close, or hanging low over the deck. (No, I'm not tall enough to get up to the joins with the trunk, nor strong enough to cut through such large limbs, but it's COLD here for now, so I'm hoping it'll be okay.) Perhaps some other day if I get home while it's not too dark out, but still winter, I'll try to lean out the bathroom window and cut some more.
Even with the leverage this tool provides, I was unable to cut some of the branches I could reach and wanted to. Oh well. I did my best.
I remembered how, many years ago, I needed to cut a branch that was hanging low over the deck, and it broke my heart to do so, because there was a tiny, perhaps one inch, rough-sphere that looked like it was pieced together of moss clinging to that branch -- a hummingbird nest. While I was thinking of this, and trying to find branches that I could cut, I saw ... something.
After a short while (I was inside by 6pm) I decided I'd done what I could and headed in.
What did I feel?
Tried to close the door to the garage and lock it, and my hands wouldn't obey me. I took my glove off so I could look at my fingers and better tell them what to do to lock the door. Finally succeeded. Wended my way through the stuff to the door and into the house. Once in, I took the gloves off and told the spouse how after even such a tiny amount of time, wearing winter gear, my fingers were completely numb.
Then that changed. PAINPAINPAINPAIN. I found snow in the pocket of my coat, and that felt good. Probably 5 minutes later the pain had diminished and I had fingers again. (They can even type!)
Then I made the spouse put on shoes and a coat and come out while there was still some vestige of light to verify what I thought I saw.
What did I see?
Clinging to a limb that is suspended over the roof is a nest. Not a hummingbird nest.
It looks like it's about the size and shape of a coconut in the husk. Although one end is a bit blunter, and I think there's an access hole there. It looks like it's made out of paper. Perhaps held together with a bit of mud here and there.
Spouse mused that it really didn't look much like a swallow nest. I can't speak to that, but what it pattern-matches for me is something I have seen up close and personal before and I'm thinking we have us a nice wasp/yellow-jacket/something nest hovering just out of reach above the door to the deck. What I don't know is whether they're inside, dormant, and will continue to build it bigger next year, or if it's done with.
I don't have a good feeling about this.
You know, I'd really rather have hummingbirds. They're nicer, and they might even be smaller.