Speaking of Crows : Part 2

When last I wrote of the crows, they (and the starlings and blue jays) were nibbling on stale whole grain Cheerios and left over popcorn.

I’ve been doing more research on my favorite bird since then and quickly learned that not only are they keen on in-shell peanuts, but dog and/or cat kibble. When grocery day came, I bought both and hoped for the best. If it didn’t work, I’d only be out about $10.

For nearly a week now I have been putting out 8-10 in-shell peanuts and a handful of dog kibble in the same place I’d put the popcorn and Cheerios, the side lawn just beyond the regular bird feeders. Consistency is important and I hoped that the crow family would eventually come around again.

When I heard the crows nearby in the morning as I was packing my lunch for work, I’d put the food in a plastic dish and shake it to make noise as I walked out to the feeding spot. I could tell SOMETHING was eating the peanuts as the shells would be cracked and scattered, but wasn’t sure what.

This morning, it was business as usual. I heard the *caw-caw-caw*, went and got my little dish and headed out. Within ten minutes, one of the crows had arrived. He was very, very wary – doing a little side step shuffle thing before grabbing one of the peanuts, hopping back quickly, then carrying it out a bit further into the lawn to crack it open. He came back time and time again though, taking some kibble then a peanut each time. Eventually he was joined by another crow who seemed a bit less timid. Of course, by then, most of the peanuts were gone, but it looked like he found one still left as well as noshing on some of the kibble.

I’m very excited about the progress. At least now I know that they know the food is there and I will continue with my efforts to make them my friends.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Campbell-Smith : The Corvid Blog :  http://coyot.es/thecorvidblog/

Speaking of Crows…

After years of dreaming, I have what I call ‘my crows’ now.

Saturday morning I tossed 1/3 of a bag of stale Cheerios out into the lawn, about 25 feet from the kitchen sink window along with three very blackened bananas. My hope was to entice the crows I’ve seen around, but that never seem to get very close. I had no idea if they were into bananas but the Cheerios seemed promising. I went out to the kitchen around 4:30 to start dinner and much to my delight, three crows were out there eating the Cheerios. Even better, it appeared to be a family unit of mom, dad, and baby though baby was just as big as mom and dad.

S/He kept hopping after one or the other squawking and open-mouthed while doing that wing-flapping FEED ME thing. Mom and Dad were having none of that. The food is right there, buddy. Help yourself! Junior was quite persistent until one of the parents had had enough of that nonsense, nudged its offspring rather roughly and flew away with an annoyed “Knock it off,” squawk. Junior seemed rather confused at this and turned around to find himself alone as Parent #1 had hopped off quite a ways during the ruckus. I’d like to say it was Mom that got pissed and stormed off, while Dad went about his business from a safe distance. Mom eventually returned and the family unit lingered a bit longer, one taking a few pecks at the offered bananas but otherwise, not much interest.

Saturday night I indulged in some popcorn and intentionally left a couple handfuls over to be put out in the same area as the Cheerios. Knowing crows are early risers, I’d planned on tossing the leftovers out early, but didn’t make it until around 8:30 or so. Way too late. Still, I remained hopeful and put them out.

Around 4:00, again, as I was doing some dinner prep, I looked out the kitchen window and there were ‘my crows’ checking out the popcorn, picking up more of the Cheerios and from what I could tell, still ignoring the bananas.

At 6:30 this morning while putting my lunch together and sipping coffee, I looked out. Guess who was there? Yup, “my crows” and I think maybe one was showing more interest in one of the bananas. Sadly, I had nothing new to put out before I left for work.  They are so much fun to watch and maybe one of these days I can be out there when they land and feed instead of 25 feet away and hidden behind two layers of glass. They’re pretty jumpy. One even did an impressive hop when my son coughed upstairs in his bedroom so this will take time.

I’m happy to watch them from afar for now, but I think it’s time to buy a big bag of peanuts in the shell and start putting a few of those out every morning. I’m told crows really like peanuts in the shell and it’s much more appealing to me than tossing road kill out there.

*Paperback Release* Secrets Of The Scarecrow Moon

It’s almost spring in Barnesville, New York. That could only mean one thing. It’s time for people to go to their secret places in the dead of night and get to work. In basements, in barns, in the old shed out back, curtains are drawn and lights glow into the wee hours. Ssshhhh. Listen. Listen hard. Maybe it’s just the wind rustling something outside on the dark, empty street. That’s probably all it is, a breeze that makes something shuffle up your porch steps and flutter against the screen door. Care to go peek? Care to open the door and step outside as the Scarecrow Moon rises full and bright over a sleepy, little town that has kept a very dark and bloody secret for over two hundred years?

Barnesville is an odd, little town smack dab in the middle of nowhere and according to my calculations, we have about a month until the rising of the Scarecrow Moon. Of course, that doesn’t mean much of anything to anyone who lives outside of Barnesville, but you might want to bone up on your knowledge if you plan on passing through that way the first weekend of May and decide to check out the Scarecrow Festival they’ll have going on.

A Scarecrow Festival in May? Aren’t those something that’s usually done in the Fall? Yes, but Barnesville isn’t like other small towns in the Southern Tier of New York State and it has its reasons for doing what it does. Most people don’t know exactly what those reasons are, but you can find out by investigating the death of Peter Wakeley along with amateur sleuth Angela Jennings in my latest paperback release, SECRETS OF THE SCARECROW MOON.

Buy, my children, buy!

Secrets of the Scarecrow Moon – Coming Soon!

Things are chugging along nicely with the upcoming release of Secrets of the Scarecrow Moon, a rewrite to my first paranormal murder-mystery formerly known as Blood of the Scarecrow. Even if you’ve read the original, you’ll still enjoy the rewrite! I’ve added several new scenes, new information about some of the characters including a link to the novel I’m currently still writing, Dark Hollow Road, and you’ll find out what happens to the scarecrow that wins the competition. Fun stuff!

For those not familiar with Secrets of the Scarecrow Moon, here’s the blurb!

For nearly two-hundred years the sleepy, little town of Barnesville has kept a secret, several in fact. Had it not been for the gruesome death of Peter Wakely, those secrets may have remained hidden another two centuries. Authorities deem it an accident when an 85-year-old man is crushed to death under a headstone during a particularly heavy March snow storm. Detective Sergeant Simon Michaels and his assistant, Angela Jennings, are two of the first on the scene. Angie grew up in Barnesville and almost immediately suspects that not all is at it appears to be. Without the help of police to back her suspicions, she quickly takes it upon herself to investigate.

The more she digs into the victim’s life and the role his family played in the founding of the town, the more bizarre things become. Even the town historian and librarian, a good friend of Angie’s mother and a self-proclaimed witch, is reluctant to discuss matters until after the passing of the Scarecrow Moon. It seems the past has come back to haunt and torment the current residents of Barnesville or at least those involved in the witchery on which it was founded.

Even Angie is not immune as vivid and gruesome dreams and uncanny hunches begin to plague her. Eventually she must face one of her deepest fears to unravel the mystery, break the spell, and reveal the dark secrets of the Scarecrow Moon; secrets and laced with blood, witchcraft, and at least one scarecrow that refuses to stay where it should.

We’re hoping for a late March release date! Stay Tuned!

Photo Credit: http://elvisegp.deviantart.com/art/The-scarecrow-304692467