Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Raven vs The Squirrel

Alright! There's a crow in the yard! I get points! I get points! Okay there is also a squirrel in the suet but I'll think about the appropriateness of that later.

Wait a minute, that "Crow" isn't acting like a Crow. He looks at me looking at him and doesn't take off. I creep closer to the glass door. He's still doing what he's doing. I grab the binoculars. No wonder he's not acting like a Crow, I think he's a Raven. Fat beak, coarse neck feathers. Is his tail wedge shaped. Can't tell; he starts to vocalize. Certainly sounds more croaky than a Crow. (Do I get points for a Raven? I don't know.) Raven forages in front of the goodie stump. He's finding something. Perhaps tidbits left by the cat eating the stiff pork chop?
Raven turns around, strides toward the bath and flaps up.

Raven bends over for a drink but comes back up immediately, cocks his head and looks down at the bowl. Pork chops can make you thirsty.

He picks up the loose skim of ice from the top of the water in his beak and chunks it over the side. Has a more comfortable drink and then looks straight at me.

He rouses his feathers,
hops off the bath and starts coming my way with purpose.
A Crow struts but is skittish and secretive around people, this guy on the other hand strides around with major hutzpah. He knows I'm watching, and he's watching me but he's going about his business like it's his yard and I begin to believe it is his. I realize that brazen behavior can have its rewards. I should try it.
Just then Suet Squirrel runs over about two feet from Raven and hops at him. That was brazen. Raven jumps a number of inches off the ground, startled. He then hops at Squirrel.
Suet Squirrel goes up the south Maple in a hurry and the Raven strides in the other direction and out of my sight. I peek. Has he gone round the house? I can't see. I go out the front door, hustle to the corner, and slide an eye past the edge of the house. No Raven. Did he fly off without my seeing him? Back in the house, no sign of him through the patio door. Drat. I climb up and stand on the sink, press my forehead to the window and try to look directly down into the flower bed. No good Then I see him on the black cover of the can crusher. (Don't ask.) And here comes Suet Squirrel zipping down the other Maple. He heads along the sidewalk that leads to the barrel and the suet. He's about to to scamper along the sidewalk right in front of Mr. Raven. I hop off the sink, scamper myself over to grab the camera. Flash there goes the squirrel at top speed to the left and whoosh, there is the flap of black wings past the window in the other direction. What happened?
I'll probably never know. But when I've waited long enough to think they aren't coming back, I go out. No Raven and no Squirrel but there is a rather hefty swatch of squirrel tail fur laying in the grass to one side of the sidewalk. Just how did that happen?
I don't know what happened but I do know now, I don't get yard points for Ravens.
Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

We must have the same picnic table. And here I thought my Mom had painted ours.

Donegal Browne said...

That's hilarious; I KNOW my parents painted theirs, because I helped them.

Can a picnic table exist in two places at the same time?