Riding The Winter Thermals

Crows are joyous birds.* Here they are a dusk, having joyously ridden the thermal “Breath of Winter,” and are trying to settle down for the night, all the while calling and squawking and speaking their mind from tree to tree, in a last family discussion before sleep.

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*There have been flocks of resident crows in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland for…..  I don’t know how many decades. Every morning the flocks wheel around our 22 story building and spend the day in the general area of the lake. Come dusk, they reverse the pattern, flying off to their roost for the night. Because of their constant presence, I have started to learn a few things about crows. This huge group of flying crows is called river of crows. They are highly intelligent, and live in large close knit family groups. While they do not nest in colonies (each mating pair builds an individual nest), the whole close knit family works together to forage, defend their territory, and care for their young.

They do not sleep in their nests other than to raise their young, however – they roost in trees. And according to Audubon’s Where Crows Go At Night  they have “a giant avian slumber party. Gathering in a park or woodland, they land in a tree, then scuffle and shuffle and squawk, filtering down through the branches.”

And “scuffle and shuffle and squawk,” I can tell you, is exactly what they do. Their carryings-on can be deafening.

Posted for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Winter’s Breath.

A Boy and His (Shared) Dog

I am finding myself somewhat nostalgic and sad lately. The daylight is beginning to fade sooner and sooner, and while fall is usually my favorite season, September 2 marked the first year anniversary of my husband’s death. So I have been looking through family pictures of late, and went searching for these, as they are among my favorites of the past year – the first year without my husband of 44 years. While the post itself is far longer than six words, the title is exactly six, so I hope I can still use the Six Word Saturday hashtag.

I have written before about the fact that my good friends, Martha and Arthur, and I share our two dogs. Theirs is Teddy the Labradoodle and mine is Zoë the Miniature Schnauzer. When my husband and I returned to Northern California three and a half years ago and moved into our retirement community (St. Paul’s Towers), the grandkids were just 1 and 3½. Teddy was bigger than the 1 year old, obviously, but he was also awfully big for the 3½ year old. About a year ago, when they were 3 and almost 6, the two of them decided that it was time for them to start walking the dogs instead of just accompanying me when I walked them. So they became the walkers, and I became the accompanying and supervising person. The 3 year old was still rather scared of Teddy, but was comfortable walking Zoë. The almost 6 year was adamant that he wanted to walk Teddy by himself, without me holding on to the leash. Here is the result: he walking confidently on ahead with Teddy last February, when he was fully 6+ a few months. My granddaughter, Zoë, and I are lagging behind, in a perfect position to capture a photo.

Walking the Dog at Twilight

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Images: Hannah Keene 2019

Posted for Six Word Saturday. Well, at least there’s exactly six words in the title. 😉