The Crow Report – The Return

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know my last Crow Report was not a happy one. One of the local murder was found dead in the neighbor’s yards. (Details Here: When Death Comes Cawing). I was devastated by the death and even more so when the rest of the birds did not come back for weeks, then months.

I am happy to report that on New Year’s Eve, three of the five returned! The tears flowed again but this time they were filled of utter joy instead of heartbreak! They didn’t stay long, but there they were, sitting in the pine tree and strutting around in the yard. They’ve come and gone over the past few weeks, each time making a bit more noise and staying a little longer to enjoy the peanuts and cat food.

After a big storm that hit Saturday night and dumped a foot of snow in the area, tossing their food into the yard was rather pointless. The offerings immediately vanished. I decided to try something new. I had two wide planks of wood about a foot wide and 3-4 feet long just sitting around doing nothing by the kitchen porch. Using those, I made a small platform by laying them diagonally between the two railings. Not the biggest landing spot, but better than having to waddle and dig around in the snow, I figured.

It only took a few minutes for the Blue Jays to make good use to it, but Blue Jays are not Crows and without a doubt, I could probably stand out there and the Jays wouldn’t care in the least. The Crows – well, they aren’t so sure about the whole thing. None of them took advantage of the new configuration Sunday. Monday was a different story.

I saved a few pieces of raw bacon from our Sunday morning breakfast along with some boiled Cornish Game Hen giblets – necks, livers, gizzards, etc. That along with the normal peanuts and kibble made for quite the spread. Of course, the Jays came first, nabbing all the peanuts in no time. A Starling showed interest in the kibble, but didn’t linger. Then – quiet. Until about 3:30 when I heard the caw-caw-caw. I dared to peek out.

There they were, SEVEN of them, in the trees, eyeballing the platform.  One flew down to a nearby stump, tipping his head this way and that, taking in the situation. He fluttered over a bit closer on the ground, pushing snow with his tummy then flew up, did a quick survey and headed back to the tree post haste. Others flew in, doing the same. None of them seemed too keen on landing just yet. But, it was clear they knew there was food up there. Finally, one of them took the dare and landed, grabbed something and was gone just as fast.

There was a lot of crow debating after that. More fluttered in, but none landed. This all took place over the span of about half an hour. They all flew off shortly after. It was just starting to get dark so I’m sure they were headed for their roost for the night.

As I won’t be home today, I won’t be able to spy on them when they come by at the usual times. I will be able to see if anything is gone when I get back, though. And you better believe I’ll be checking the platform for tell-tale Crow footprints in the snow.

Man vs. Piggy

Adventures / Pets

I bought a pretend guinea pig last night.

I think its name is Skittles or Scuddles or Nibbles or some such thing. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the little critters and with the remaining balance I still had on the gift card I got at the pretend baby shower last year, Nibbles (or Wiggles) was actually free. Took the critter home to the castle and set up the cage. I have to admit to being a little disappointed. The ad seemed to indicate that little Wiggles could be held by my pretend daughter, Willow. At the very least, *I* wanted to be able to hold the little fella using some cute gesture. Nope. Poor thing just sits there, stuck to the side of my hand or motionless on the floor unless he’s in his cage. Then he scampers about and is cute as all get out. As long as Puddles (or Piddles) is happy, as happy as a pretend guinea pig can be, then I’m happy.

The real guinea pig I have isn’t much more affectionate than the pretend one, mind you. Plus I have to feed her and clear her cage. She’s the childhood pet I was never allowed to have as a child. My cousins had guinea pigs but I was never allowed. My dad never liked ‘rats’ as he called them. So, five years ago I decided to treat myself. Nona Bologna (Nona for short) makes noise, too, particularly when she hears you in the kitchen opening the veggie drawer and rustling plastic bags. It’s her subtle way of demanding her morning grape. Once this requirement it met, along with a few pieces of carrot and a handful of timothy hay, she’s quiet. Rare is the moment she deems you worthy of petting her on the head and nose, but when she does – it’s so damn cute. Nona is five-years-old now and sadly, though she still seems very healthy and active, her days are numbered. Her companion, Mina Louise, passed away last year. Nona doesn’t seem to mind being alone though. All the more grapes, carrots and hay for her.

When Nona leaves us Jim wants a dog. I’d prefer a cat. It’s one of those mixed relationships. Kinda like one person being a Republican and the other a Democrat only different and a lot less stressful. I’ll likely not get any more guinea pigs. It was fun and it fulfilled that little kid part of me that always wanted them but I’m ready to be pet-free for a while. I have Jim now instead.

JIm doesn’t squeal when I open the veggie drawer or rustle a bag, but he certainly lets me know when he needs feeding. One of these days I WILL rap his hand with a wooden spoon when he steals from the cutting board while I’m trying to cook. Either that or he’s going to get a finger chopped off. And, I can cuddle and hold him using a cute gesture. I haven’t tried just setting him on the floor to see what happens. I imagine, much like the pretend guinea pig, he’d just lay there motionless for awhile. Unlike Nona. Jim can (and usually does) clean up after himself. That’s a definite plus! Nona doesn’t cook nor does she even make the slightest effort to do the dishes.

Yeah, I think I’ll keep Jim around long after Nona Bologna goes to wherever guinea pigs go when they die. Nona never built me a pretend log cabin as a wedding gift and I’m pretty sure she has no interest in dressing up as a pirate and sinking navy ships or going to karaoke. And I know for a fact, she’ll never sit at my feet on the sofa and sing me to sleep.

In the battle of Man vs. Piggy,  Man wins.

Sorry, Nona.