Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Muttering Murder of Crows

A family of crows fledged their babies recently. They are a loud and raucous lot. And curious. Very, very curious. I hear them across the creek or the field when I am in the garden. And I wait....

Soon they will be in the big pear tree on the South side of the yard. They like to watch what I am doing, but I hadn't figured out quite why, at first.

When they are across the creek, they caw loudly, swooping and diving and chasing one another while they hunt, putting me in mind of teenage boys laughing, teasing and shoving each other down the street. But when they spot me in the garden, they fly over to the pear tree and sit there muttering softly to each other. Soon one or two will lift off and glide to the King apple tree above where I am working. And they watch. And they wait. After a while I hear one or two calling from the pear tree, as if asking what the others see me doing.

Of course I talk to them and I tell them to just never mind casing my garden. You see, I figured it out, what they were up to, and I don't trust them. They are fun to watch; fun to listen to. There is one who barks like a dog - I have dogs; more on that in another post. But back to the crows in the apple tree. I think - no, I KNOW, they are monitoring the vegetables growing in my boat garden, waiting for that first, fat, juicy, red or yellow heritage tomato to ripen. Or that first crisp, green heritage pea. And when I least expect them to, they will swoop in and steal them. I have their number. They are watching the progress of the garden and reporting it to their siblings. Letting them know how many days until pea pickin' time.

But I have a plan, see. It goes back to the bunk bed frame and the plastic shower curtains - my cute little Island Mule Deer deterrent. Which is now also my cute little Murder of Crows deterrent. I think. I hope it doesn't just turn into a cute little Murder of Crows perch for eating heritage tomatoes and peas. Hmmmmm, maybe I need to rethink this. I'll keep you posted.

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