Gift from the Jay Bird
In July 2005, I was making baskets out of daylily leaves. I gather dry leaves when cleaning up my yard and store them in a box. To make a basket, I soak the leaves in a container of water for 20 – 30 minutes.
I select the longest and strongest leaves to begin with and plait the center of the leaves – over one, under one, to make a base up to about three inches square, with equal lengths sticking out on each side.
Then I begin twining around this base. After one or two rounds, the basket will naturally start to form sides. I continue to work around the basket adding in new leaves a few twists before the old one runs out.
When the spokes become short, I snuggle them into the next twist or two. If they all get short at about the same time, they can be folded into the next twine one at a time as you get to them to make a rim. Another way to end is to stop twining and tie the two leaves in a knot to hold them, then fold the spoke ends inward and work them into the rows below.
I’ve planted trees and flowers in my yard to the point where I have habitat for many different birds – mocking birds, wood peckers, warblers, crows, humming birds, parrots, juncos, starlings, doves, sparrows, black phoebes, and scrub jay’s. I’m in the flyway for birds that migrate and I see flocks of robins, finches, cedar wax wings, and others.
They gift me with feathers to use on the baskets. I especially like those from the Jay birds.