I’ve been watching a nest of Crows at work. The mother was quite throughout, she sat on the eggs only to leave for a short while. Once the eggs hatched she was constantly busy going back and forth for food for the hatchlings. It rained a lot and there were worms on the pavement, plenty to choose from.
I had to climb to the third floor to see them. Sometimes my work didn’t take me there, but I did it anyway each day. I always said I’d bring my camera, but I didn’t.
Every time I looked at those birds I couldn’t get over how much bigger they got, day after day.
Today they sat on the edges of the nest, all three black and shiny, confident, if they are lucky they will always be so, the mother on a branch above, her eye on me, trusting, but knowing I can never be trusted.
They looked at me. It’s said Crows can recognize faces, I wondered how those wings worked and when they will figure out they can fly.
The garden always grows after a thunder storm. The rain that falls beside lightning is special. Full of nitrogen science says. I figure it comes from the sky in a hellacious crash and that’s got to be good.
The shed provided shelter until the rain stopped. Luckily I’d hid a couple beer in there for a rainy day. They were just as I like them; aged to perfection, woodshed warm and dying to be drank.
The first of the mountain orchids begin to bloom.
It seems orchids and bears start to appear at the same time in the bush. The trick is not to be too focused on one or the other. For instance, if you are just on the lookout for bears you might step on the delicate Venus’s Lady’s Slipper.
A Black Bear says, ‘What are you doing here?’
Conversely, if you are laying on your belly in the moss, intent on focusing your camera on these lovely orchids, you could pop up your head and have a surprise. Awareness is always the best policy.
I’m not sure what I would do without those mountains and all the trees. They remind me there is still plenty to climb. I know they are stronger than I’ll ever be. Still, they allow me to be in their world, reminding me where I stand, like the stars. It’s a good feeling to live on rock and wood.
A Goldfinch robbing the sunflowers.
Damn, there seems to be a lot of shit in the world trying to keep us quiet. Take the news for instance. Everything is grave. The President of the United States is a threat to world peace, he could fly off the handle at any time and push the button. Our own Justin Trudeau growing a beard to look more serious, perhaps to even the playing field. I remember when his father was the smartest guy in the room. That’s tough to live up to. The Corona-virus coming to get us. The world warming or cooling, one or the other, it can’t be good, fires, glaciers calving, storms bringing cold, snow, bush hot as asphalt.
It makes you care less about the thieves around you when everything is going to hell in a hand basket.
Remember when New Orleans flooded due to Katrina? All the people looting? Mostly poor people, trying to get a new TV. The whole country looked down on them.
Here we are with nothing but bad news on the horizon and every small town politician, government worker, school superintendent and business leader are doing everything in their power to feather their nest, expecting us to be caught up in the news and turn a blind eye not only to their incompetence but their greed.
That’s taking advantage of the situation, that’s the real looting.
The pussywillows showed up on time. . . early. This has been more of a traditional winter. Snow and low cloud obscuring the stars.
A few peaks are shedding the clouds.
One eye on the predator and one on the prey.
Bald Eagle, photo by Lisa.
Lisa and I saw a Northern Hawk Owl yesterday. It was a fortunate sighting. Owls are an animal that seem to be able to look directly into your soul. Unfortunately it was very low light and I wasn’t able to get a clear photograph.
The owl even soared down and caught a mouse in the snow and long grass. As soon as it flew away a Raven trailed after it, hoping for it to drop the mouse I suspect.
Opportunists get a bad rap. Not born with the sharp beak and killer claws it must depend on it’s smarts and perseverance. It has to steal it’s meal.
This is often the same with people. It used to be the poor steeling from the rich. Now it’s the politicians and big business men stealing from the many poor. Just a little bit from each, it’s counterproductive to completely ruin the hand that feeds you.
Like the Raven they quickly adapt. Even manipulating folks into leaving treats and rewarding them with trinkets.
Still you have to hand it to the Ravens, Crows, Turkey Vultures and Magpies. It was unfair of me to compare them to crooks in suits.
Lisa and I went out this morning in better light to look for the owl. They are very territorial and are often seen time and again in the same spot.
It was no where to be found. We saw the Bald Eagle photographed above. Lisa took the photo not trusting me after my shaky focus with the owl. 🙂
The Chickadees have been busy in the remaining sunflowers. I put a couple large heads on the deck so we can watch the tough little birds do their business. They fly from the garden, to the deck, to the trees where they hide the seed for future consumption, presumably when the cold and snow hits and food is scarce.
A Downey Woodpecker has been watching them and I wonder if he will be the beneficiary of all their hard work.
Like all of nature these small birds seem to work extra hard just to survive. They hide ten times what they will need, because they know most of it will be gone when they need it.
A Turtle lays a hundred eggs and only a small number survive. A tree produces many cones, some fall and lay dormant, some are eaten by birds. Some sprout and are trampled and die or don’t get enough light. Sometimes it takes a lightening strike or fire to clear the brush and let them survive. Without going ‘above and beyond’ perhaps all would have died out by now.
Then there is us. Humans are the cruelest animal, it is our nature to wreak havoc on animals, resources and the natural world, because we feel we are somehow above or separate from the trees and fish and even the coal in the ground. It’s because, like every other living thing, we guard our young. For them, we produce and consume much more than is required. In this moment of time we have gotten too good at being cruel. All of our seeds are still in the trees, we have ten times more than we need, but we’ve killed off all the woodpeckers.
The last 200 years, even the last 2000 years is such a small amount of time for nature. It is our hubris, maybe even our nature and our weakness, to think we are on top, or somehow in control.
Was behind the mountains where we used to catch fish in the streams. Where we sipped the cold water from the spring beside the trail. How we used to look forward to it on a hot day after exploring the back country, or hunting for deer and elk, sometimes we only came home with chicken. I remember thinking, if it wasn’t for all these damn trees I’d be able to see something to shoot at.
Now the trees are large and I wonder sometime if they were always there. Every trip it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Same as the ridges, the way the light hits them. It’s cold in the creek bottom, dark and icy, but those ridges basked in the last light look mighty inviting.
I don’t go far, never have, there is still plenty of ridges, I haven’t walked, without ruck or crowd, right under my nose. Tamarack, old, hard, and twisted. Scree slopes, waterfalls, fish behind rocks, mountains that change depending on the light, enough for 10 lifetimes if you had four sets of eyes.
It’s getting chilly. The snow is on the mountains. You could die if you break your ankle, freeze if you fall through the ice, get lost in the crooks and crags, too scared to move in the dark.
Who needs a jet plane to explore? When you can count on the stars.
Two Boxers got on Willow, she realized she was in trouble and was fighting back. I saw it from inside and ran out. A couple boots and I picked up Willow. This is not what you are supposed to do when your dog is being attacked by other dogs.
The Boxers where persistent. They snapped at her. Unlike some of the other fights I’ve been in I had to use both feet. I hit them in the chest. I was out of breath by the time the Boxers ran off.
I knocked a Rottweiler out once, when I was a youngster I was bitten plenty, I kicked him right under the chin. The clack his teeth made was like the sound when a good punch lands. It was square. Never planned.
He stumbled around for awhile and retreated.
It can go either way. That’s dogs for you when they remember they were once wild.