I’m recovering nicely from the A to Z Blog Challenge and starting to think about writing my novel once again. In the meantime, a smart constitutional includes much birding—sometimes twice a day.
Yesterday, I hung along the edge of the Crystal Springs Reservoir watching the Red-Tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures float on the updrafts as the fog folded in in layers like batter.
Today, it was a trip to the dog park off of Radio Road—make that two trips—as I had to buy a couple of buttermilk donuts to use for crow snacks.
Every time I go down Radio Road, the shores are occupied by a few silent, well-equipped birders with camo gear right down to their camo-colored telephoto lenses. They sit focusing their equipment at the birds, silent, like folks in a pew facing the altar of saltwater and feather.
I can only imagine what amazing things they capture. My lens is always slower, not as sharp, nor as good. I do my best and I bring donuts as my real interest is the crows.
Ya, you can laugh, but crows are wickedly smart and much favored as feathered minions. Ya, you can laugh, I can only wish for minions.
I used to take my three dogs, Bootsie, Mandy, and Dobbie, out to the Shoredogs Park on Radio Road and watch them run around. Bootsie, a boxer/lab mix always acted far younger than her age. Mandy, timid and looking for reassuring pats, hung by my side and earned points for her sweet nature. Dobbie, commanding to the point of domineering, standing proud on stout legs—a brindled Napoleon— was able to psych out much larger dogs including a German Shepherd. In those days, we went down Radio Road for the dog park.
Everyone was so alive then.
Those days are gone.
These days it’s all about the birds—shorebirds, wading birds, over-wintering birds, dumpster diving birds—birds are everything. My dog du jour, Tacoma (who is in reality, my granddog) insists she must go to the dog park while I prepare the donut savories for the crowing.
Crows leave her bland. She doesn’t bark.
But my objective is the crows. Yes, crows. Always crows. The other birds are beatific and beautiful, but I seek crow-wit and myth.
Along the way, I saw these birds. This was today—in an eggshell—a summary of nature and birding and dogging trips, too, and my cheeks are still warm from the wind and the sun of the warm weather chapping.