Basket hummingbird nests

Another set of baskets, tiny ones, woven from pampas grass.


They’re rough, but entertaining to make. Who knows, maybe I’ll find nooks in trees and tuck them away for hummingbirds to find. They take about 10 minutes to make.


Take a half-inch wide six-foot long blade of pampas grass:


Strip it into three bands, one rib down the middle and two wings:20200411_142546

Break off three seven-to-eight inch strips. Take the tail of the remaining ribbed band and set the other three strips on top arranging them into a star. You always need an odd number of ribs, here we’ll have seven, which means the tail of the remaining ribbed strip will then be wound around the others to start to form the bottom.20200411_142745

Keep winding until the strip becomes too narrow and weak to use. Wrap it as best you can around the ribs, tucking in where you can. Then take one of the wing bands and begin weaving it following the same pattern, over under, over under. Having an odd number of ribs allows the pattern to never duplicate.20200411_143022

Begin to bend the ribs as you wind. You’ll exhaust the first band and end up using the second until it’s depleted. As you near the end of that strand, wrap it around and tuck it in as you can to self-seal the basket from unwinding.20200411_143736

Then bend over the ribs and tuck them into the wrappings.


As we walk around the neighborhood, various pampas grass mounds, massive, knife sharp things cast off their decaying stalks and blades. I pick a blade, one per walk, and weave as I go.

There are a few good videos on youtube that illustrate this technique. And there are other materials that work too:

It’s silly stupid shit like this that lets my mind blend into white noise. When I’m working with my hands, my brain seems to turn off. Of course, once I get into it and the rhythm of the motions, the whirling starts back up and I’m once again drifting over deserts, seas and forests, or meandering down ancient cities, or forgotten ruins.

[Here’s a two blade basket:]

17 thoughts on “Basket hummingbird nests

  1. Hey those baskets look good! My hands have been itching to get on with some handicraft too. If only there was pampas grass I could pick from the backyard! But as it is, I live in an urban jungle and alas, concrete reigns the grounds.


  2. Carver says, “I go to sleep on one beach, and wake up on another.”

    Through the Boughs

    Down below the window, on the deck, some ragged-looking

    birds gather at the feeder. The same birds, I think,

    that come every day to eat and quarrel. Time was, time was,

    they cry and strike at each other. It’s nearly time, yes.

    The sky stays dark all day, the wind is from the west and

    won’t stop blowing.… Give me your hand for a time. Hold on

    to mine. That’s right, yes. Squeeze hard. Time was we

    thought we had time on our side. Time was, time was,

    those ragged birds cry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those ragged birds cry and circle overhead.
      Shadows flashing by like those jetliners of yesterday, blink, then gone.
      Yet still they circle, a drain swirling in the sky, bits of death staring down, waiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi A. Mole,

    Well, this is very reminiscent of some RCarver I’m reading right now. I take it you make your baskets sober and not drunk. If you were Carver, you’d be howling drunk while you wove your treasure. These are the things we need on this earth. Your baskets are short spaces of peace and quiet in the roaring of bad and unavoidable news. A. Mole, we are so fucked, yet the basket goes back to the beginning and here you are repeating the gentle story of history. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 2 people

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