Overcoming Bloglessness


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Bird Stuff

Daily Prompt: Now You See Me

You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.

I’ve have been using my superpower. Haven’t you noticed? I’ve been disappeared most of the winter. I just kind of got unbloggy; distracted by holidays, Scrabble, TV, jigsaw puzzles, naps, baking, sewing and bird stuff. My brain is full of bird stuff.

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1000 pieces = 2 days to completion.

Fowl Fashion Update

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Betty, Fanny and Penny

The hens would rather not touch snow, but when the sun comes out, who can resist a little walkabout?   Their coop is warmed by heat lamp, since  Betty was molting when the artic air arrived and Fanny has had foliage issues since I got her last summer.

Here she is in July, dehydrated and underweight with no pants and a big scab from being pecked on in an overcrowded henyard.

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Ta-da!  Here’s Fanny now in her new finery.  She still has a small bald patch in the wayback, but that will fill in too.  By summer, she’ll be fully feathered.

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These hens are good layers.  The heat lamp helps with winter production.  I’m getting three eggs most days.   Some eggs go right back to the hens or the crow, scrambled or hard-boiled.

Raven gets raw eggs.  I bet he’d like ’em scrambled too.

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Full moon over Taj Ma-henhouse.

Suki

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Taking a snowbath.

The name Suki didn’t really stick.  My husband consistently calls her “Crowbar”.  I allow that because it’s better than what he was calling her, which was “FUBAR”.   (F@#*^d Up Beyond All Reason)   Don’t call her that!
After reading about a crow named Chicken (CORVUS, by Esther Woolfson)  I started calling her Chicken. Or Crow.  “Suki” has become her formal name; the one she would use on important legal documents.

Crow stays busy all day, bathing in  snow, climbing her tree, caching and uncaching food and watching flighted birds soar by.   At night I bring her inside, to her crate.  One recent evening she stepped off her tree onto my hand and rode all the way inside!  That had never happened before and  I was plum tickled.  She’s done it a few times now, but she won’t do it every time.

In the morning, after scrambled eggs, I open the patio door and let her walk out on her own.  Here’s her route.

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Owls

I’ve learned to keep my hood on when cleaning or feeding the owls at bird rehab.  A great grey owl deliberately befouled my hair!  And a barred owl smacked me upside the head as I exited his chamber.  He didn’t hurt me; his talons were not in kill position.  He just flew into the back of my head for reasons untold.  Maybe just for kicks or maybe he didn’t like my outfit.  I promise not wear that orange camo hoodie again.  It really is hideous.

Great grey owl

Great grey owl


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Winter Crow

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

Now it’s winter and the snow is as high as little Crow’s eye.

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The chickens won’t set foot on the snow, but crow doesn’t mind. She buries her head in the powder and plows, fluffs up her feathers and flaps her good wing like she’s in water.  Nothing refreshes like a snow bath! Or maybe she’s making crow angels.

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Crow bites at falling snowflakes and contemplates the wintery world.

 

 

 


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A Possible Crow

For those of you who didn’t know,

I may or may not have a crow

that came here with a broken wing,

poor little thing.

Perhaps it lives in my backyard

and it’s been hard

to keep a secret of

a broken little bird I love.

Not as valued as an eagle,

it’s illegal

to possess a crow.

Just let it go

to meet its fate,

upon a raptors’ dinner plate.

Is it wrong to let it stay?

Would you send it on its way?

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Daily Prompt: Pride and Joy

Show and Tell

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A Rock

I brought this cool rock for show and tell. It looks like a petrified dinosaur heart wrapped in blood vessels and bands of muscle tissue.
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How do you suppose it was formed?  Anybody?  Buehler?

I want this rock. Next time we go fishing, I’m going to try to catch it. It’s heavy, but I’m sure it’s pickupable. I think I can pack it out, a mile or so from the river to the truck.
I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

But, if I can’t, I’ll say,  It would be selfish, to take that rock away from the river and keep it all to myself.

 

Shrooms

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Coprinus comatus

Here’s a little patch of shaggy manes, also called lawyer’s wig or shaggy ink cap. Mr. Raven calls them pisshrooms, claiming they grow wherever somebody went. They’re edible before they get inky, but they don’t keep well. You’ve got to cook ’em right away.

A Jury of Crows

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I was delighted to see crows gathered up in the field. I refuse to call it a murder. I like jury. A jury of crows.

 

Yesterday’s Daily PromptReady, Set, Done. Our weekly free-write is back: take ten minutes — no pauses! — to write about anything, unfiltered and unedited. You can then publish the post as-is, or edit a bit first — your call.

Old Jimmy

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Daily Prompt: Good Fences?.

Who are your neighbors? Are you friends with them, barely say hi, or avoid them altogether? Tell us a story — real or invented — about the people on the other side of your wall (or street, or farm, or… you get the point).
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEXT DOOR.

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Old Jimmy

“Are ya hungry? I made ya some pancakes.”

Is he talking to me? I looked up from my weeding, towards Jimmy’s house across the street. He was standing on the front steps, tossing little pancakes onto his tidy square of lawn.
Oh good, he’s just talking to birds. I adored the old man, but it could be hard to get away, once Jimmy started talking. He was so hard of hearing, conversations were loud and awkward.

Old Jimmy had lived on our street longer than anybody. He had forty years worth of 38th street stories saved up. He’d known all the families that had ever lived on our street, including the original owners of my little house. He once told me how the man that had built our house had worked for months building a beautiful pony cart for his wife to ride around in. The day he finished the cart, he hitched the pony up to it and the pony promptly kicked it to smithereens. Jimmy laughed so hard he had to wipe his eyes every time he told that story.
I was happy to know that little bit of history. Imagine, a pony on 38th street!

“Well come on! Come and get yer pancakes.” He was talking to a pair of crows, perched on the wires above. The crows swooped down to claim their pancakes. They tore them up and gulped them down until their craws and beaks were overflowing, then flew away to hide their stash.

I’d never thought of feeding the crows. I fed the little birds and squirrels, but never crows.

Jimmy had no pets. He didn’t need any. He fed stray cats on his front porch. Whenever he saw my dog, he’d call over, “Ya want a cookie? Well, come on!” Buddy would wait by the screen door while Jimmy went inside to get a “cookie”, then run home to munch it on our lawn.

When Evelyn was alive, I’d see them sitting together on the front steps on hot summer evenings, drinking iced tea, reading the paper. The neighbor kids congregated there too, listening to his stories, eating Evelyn’s cookies, cartwheeling on their lawn. They had no kids of their own, but they watched a generation grow up on our street.

Evelyn had been gone ten years. The neighbor kids grew up and moved away. Jimmy’s nephew looked in on him. He needed help around the house, but would not accept any. Neighbors brought him dinners. His eyesight got so bad, he had to quit driving. The nephew made arrangements to move Jimmy to assisted living. Jimmy couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his home and losing his independence.

I couldn’t believe it, that snowy day when I heard the news. He’d taken his own life.

I started feeding crows, after that day I’d seen Jimmy doing it. Once they know you’re a feeder, crows don’t forget. They tell their friends and relatives. It got so they followed me on walks and waited on wires outside my door. They’d fly alongside my car for blocks. I wondered if neighbors ever noticed.

Last December we drove past our old house. We’ve been away three years now. Everything looked just the same on 38th street, but none of the people we knew are there anymore.

The crows remembered us though. They followed our car and flew alongside, just like the old days. I was ecstatic. It was the most exciting part of the trip. I felt terrible that I didn’t have a peanut or a cracker or anything to feed them, so I went to the corner store and bought a bag of cat kibbles, went back to 38th street and dribbled them all the way down the street, followed by a little flock of crows.

My love of crows, ravens and all things corvid began because of old Jimmy, that day I saw him throwing pancakes.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Abstraction

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Crows

These are my crows. We used to be friends, when I lived in the city.
Every morning they waited on wires and branches for my front door to open. Just a few at first, then word got out that I was a food thrower and the crow crowd grew. They watched me from trees while I worked in the yard. They followed me up to the park and accompanied me on walks around the neighborhood. They flew behind my car for blocks, until they entered somecrow else’s territory. They brought their noisy, blue-eyed youngsters to my yard and fed them. They never pooped on my car.
I began to recognize some individuals. Lefty had no right foot. Lumpy had fungal growth on his legs. Arrr had one eye.
The crow’s smorgasbord stopped when we sold the house and moved away. I was sorry to leave them, but it was probably for the best. I shouldn’t have been feeding them. Too many crows were gathering around my yard. It was getting out of hand.
I don’t feed wildlife where I live now. But I do caw out to ravens, passing by.