Thursday, April 19, 2012


Seventies: Part One                                    

            One of the first things you notice after being retired is that you have time to notice things. There is time. Not as much as I thought there would be, but time enough. I have begun to notice crows these last three years— an interesting bird. Some people are against them. They rob nests when they can find them, eat the young. I watch them walk along the fence and scan the evergreens for nests. Not nice. But then we all kill something. I remember an old Buddhist thing: “We are all food, and the eaters of food .”         
            I have digressed. I tend to do that.

            I want to talk about crows. They fascinate me, so damn smart, so cautious. After three years some now dare to stand their ground some ten or twelve feet off, watching my every move— poised for a quick escape. A burst of flight. One hangs around, keeping an eye on a crow feeder I made—an aluminum baking  pan in a wood  pole about four feet off the ground. Should have made it higher by at least a foot. Dogs get into it sometimes.

            It’s still mid-winter and the gulls have come in shore to plunder. They are a much larger bird, but fewer. Fighters and bombers. Gulls chase crows only if one’s found something to eat something it cannot quickly swallow, trying to steal it away. Sometimes the drop their prize. A band of crows can drive a gull or two away . . . but not so far away.

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