At mid-morning, before the snow starts its quiet infiltration, before the hard knuckles of sleet, the distant hysteria of a mob of crows.
Crow talks to crow in crow-talk, says “Crow!” The third crow says “Eat!” (It is just warm enough for carrion to be carried off.)
Overcast and cold. Wind hissing in the dry goldenrod and rattling the half-bare crowns of the oaks. A distant crow.
Several bright spots in the clouds where the sun might be hiding like a pea in a shell game. Dozens of crows fly overhead, most in silence.
Warm and humid. A crow lands on the top branch of a nearly bare black walnut tree. It caws three times and flies off with heavy wingbeats.
The fierce cries of a male kestrel climbing, fluttering and diving over the corner of the field. A crow hurries over to harass it.
A series of high-pitched howls from down in the hollow: coyotes or children? It’s hard to tell. I watch a silent, nearly motionless crow.
A crow lands in a treetop and keeps flapping its wings, as if bathing in the falling snow. As I watch, a friend watches me, making a sketch.
Overcast, with a smell of burning plastic in the air. Half-way up the ridge, two crows move about in the treetops without making a sound.
Fire sirens. A wren’s burble. In a tree at the woods’ edge, two crows jeering a raven fall silent when it flies right over their heads.
A brown creeper ascends the trunk of a walnut tree, its jerky scuttling more insect-like than avian. Up on the ridge, a furious mob of crows.
By 11:00, the freezing rain has stopped and the rain of melting ice is underway—the woods are a-rattle with it. A crow won’t stop yelling.
After weeks of near-absence, crows call and quarrel in all directions. It must be the gut piles, venison viscera festering among the leaves.
Four crows around the houses are voicing loud displeasure at something or other. I hear bemusement in the croak of a raven high overhead.
cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket cricket CROW CROW CROW cricket cricket cricket crick
Cold and overcast. Up above the blossoming hawthorn, three crows walk back and forth on the forest floor as if searching for a lost trinket.