The Secret World of Crows

When we talked to the Flooring Department salesman at Lowes on Sunday, he told us to expect a call in the next day or two to set up an appointment to get our living room floor measured. We specifically asked him to give the installation people my phone number because EJ doesn’t take personal calls at work. But EJ texted me late Monday morning to tell me that the installation people had called and left a voice message on his phone. This brought back frustrated memories of previous installation guys who kept calling EJ instead of me which delayed our projects. I quickly called the Flooring Department and asked the guy who answered the phone to have the installation people please call me instead of EJ. The guy said he would pass it on but I heard nothing all Monday. However, when EJ got home that evening, he gave me the callback number given to him in the voice message. I called first thing the next morning and the woman who answered said she was working in our area that day and would be by later. She arrived even earlier than she estimated and quickly took the measurements she needed. Yay! As she prepared to leave, she said that she would turn in her measurements that afternoon and Lowes would get back to me with the estimate in 3-5 days. I’m really looking forward to getting the new flooring.

The weather today has been perfectly beautiful. The morning was so cool (in the 50’s) that I had to wear a jacket. I loved it. The temperature warmed up to 76 degrees by mid-afternoon, but the breeze kept it relatively comfortable-ish.

I hadn’t watered the gardens or trees all week because of the rain we had last weekend, but after several days of sunshine, I felt it was time to water everything this morning. I also did laundry and as I hung the clothes on the clothesline, I enjoyed the peaceful beauty around me. The Orcs have stopped cutting down the forest across the road; they only return now and then to carry off another load of murdered Ents. So I no longer hear the constant roar of their machines and I can once again enjoy peaceful nature sounds.

I heard crows cawing overhead as I hung the wet clothes on the line this morning. I think that crows are fascinating. They are amazingly intelligent birds as described in this interesting article: 6 Terrifying Ways Crows Are Smarter Than You Think. There is also a very interesting documentary about crows at Youtube that EJ and I watched together this evening. Crows are one of the most intelligent critters on the planet. Among other things, crows can make and use tools and solve complex problems. They also can recognize individual faces. If someone messes with them, they not only remember them, but they also tell other crows and teach their babies to dislike them. You don’t want to make an enemy of a crow because you will make enemies of all the crows in the area. They also chase away aerial predators like hawks that would harm my ducks and chickens, so they are quite handy to have in the neighborhood. I told EJ tonight that if the crows are intelligent and observing us, I would like to make friends with them. He said that he had been thinking the same thing. “We could make a treaty with them,” he said. I laughed, “Yeah, we could make a treaty with the Crow Nation.” I don’t know how to make friends with crows but they are one of my favorite kind of birds. I can see why Native Americans thought they were special.

I saw turkey vultures soaring overhead this morning. I like watching them soar. I can never remember the differences between vultures and buzzards or which we have in Michigan. I keeping looking it up to try to learn the differences and keep forgetting. But this morning I finally found an article that said that Michigan only has turkey vultures–so that’s helpful and will be easy to remember. Vultures mostly eat dead things so they aren’t a real threat to the poultry, but the ducks and chickens are always alarmed when one flies overhead because they are alert to large birds that could be predators flying in the sky. I’ve even seen the ducks watch airplanes in the sky. Whenever EJ and I see vultures circling in the sky, we comment that there must be a dead cowboy somewhere nearby–because in all the old western movies vultures always circled around a cowboy dying in the desert. If we see numerous vultures circling, we comment that there must be a dead cowboy AND his dead horse.

I didn’t get a photo of the Red-Breasted Grosbeak or Hummingbird that visited the birdbath and flowers.

Yesterday I saw a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak visit my hanging bird bath. My camera was across the room and by the time I retrieved it, the bird had flown away. This is the second time this summer that I have seen one. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are beautiful. I saw them for the first time a couple of years before we moved to Northern Michigan. I also spotted a hummingbird drinking nectar from the red flowers of the hanging plant. He also flew away before I could get a photo. I also was not quick enough to snap a photo of the Monarch Butterfly visiting the milkweed growing in my flower garden near the house. Sometimes I am able to take photos of cool things I see, and sometimes not. 

Lily with the blossom bit off, June 2017.

When I walked Hannah today, I noticed that the lilies along the driveway are beginning to bud. It won’t be too much longer before they bloom. Last year I watched with anticipation as the buds got larger and larger day by day. I couldn’t wait to see them bloom. Then one day I eagerly walked down the driveway to see if the lilies had bloomed and found only empty stalks. I didn’t know that the deer love eating lilies. Apparently they consider them a treat. Oh, well. I think that eventually the lilies will multiply so that even the deer can’t eat them all. And I don’t mind that the deer get to enjoy a treat, even though I really would like to see a lily-lined driveway.

“Johnny Go To Bed at Noon” flowers and seed head.

Even if I don’t get to enjoy the lilies, I do enjoy the wildflowers as I walk down the driveway with Hannah. Hannah also seems to enjoy them. The other day she went up to the large seed head of the “Johnny Go To Bed At Noon” flowers. She sniffed it…and then tried to bite it and sending the seeds flying. It was really cute. Hannah also enjoys the wild strawberries that grow all over our property. She has learned where they are growing along the driveway and pauses to eat a few each time we go for a walk.

Hawkweed

The last time I mowed the lawn, I found a couple of places where a few hawkweed were growing. I mowed around those places and I check every now and then to see if they have gone to seed yet. When they do, I will plant the seeds along the driveway. I just read that in some places, hawkweed is considered a “noxious weed.” Whatever. I think hawkweed are very pretty. Seriously, I think my favorite type of flowers are wildflowers–also known as “weeds.”  In my opinion, a weed is just a flower growing where you don’t want it. Although I think orderly gardens are beautiful, I prefer a field full of wildflowers.

Josette hanging out with me at the clothesline.

Whenever I go outside, our cat Josette suddenly appears and follows me around. She follows Hannah and me on our walks down and up the driveway and she joins me when I garden, care for the ducks, or hang the clothes on the line. I now look for her to see if I can anticipate where she will appear–sort of a Josette version of “Where’s Waldo.”  Josette is as affectionate as Madeline is timid–and she is gentle rather than a serial killer.

Planter saucer filled with water.

I’ve been looking for shallow dishes to fill with water for the critters to drink on hot summer days. I finally realized that there was a perfect saucer under the pot that the dead rosemary plant is in. I took it, filled it with water, and put it on one of the large rocks. I also filled an upside-down frisbee with water and put it on the ground.

Well, EJ and Hannah have gone to bed already and it’s about time to put my ducks and chickens to bed in their coop so I’ll chat with you all another day.

 

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3 Comments on “The Secret World of Crows

      • I am envious of you and others who do not have the city life and crime that is here – you are indeed blessed TJ. But I know you know that already. 🙂

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