Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coexisting With . . . Crows.

I just read an amazing book called "Crow Planet" by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Your first reaction is probably - crows? Yuk! Those disgusting birds picking at bloody roadkill?

Well, of course they are just finding their daily bread like the rest of us. Personally I am always enchanted with birds. They are my favorite of God's creatures (along with dogs) and I think they are all beautiful (even the Canadian geese that traverse and befoul our yards and neighborhoods). Haupt convinces us of the intelligence and ingenuity of the ever-present crows. She tells of how they have learned to drop a nut from a tree onto a road and wait for a car to run it over and crack it before swooping down to retrieve it. She tells of how playful the crows are, taking a stick into the air, dropping it and then catching it on the way down.

What this book really did for me is remind me to slow down and observe what is around me. I love seeing the wildlife around me, but do I really observe what they are doing?

I want to co-create a nation of watchers, of naturalists-in-progress, none of us perfect, all sharing in the effort of watching, knowing, understanding, protecting, and living well alongside the wild life with whom we share our cities, our neighborhoods, our households, our yards, our ecosystems, our earth. All of us in cafes, pulling out our laptops and beside them our binoculars, just in case we want to see how that crow outside the window is doing with his bit of garbage, how his feet work to hold down the paper bag while his nimble bill extracts the french fries. Just in case we want to see, above the crows, the swooping swallows that only days ago arrived all the way from Mexico, violet feathers shimmering. From the swallows we can turn to the person at the table across the way and say, "Did you ever see a more beautiful color of blue?"

1 comment:

Janie Vogel said...

I love this entry, Diane. This sounds like a book I'd love to read, taking into account my Trail Monitoring duties in the Metroparks. I love the outdoors (some say I'm addicted to it), and thoroughly enjoy being in nature, but maybe this would be a reminder to continue to pay attention to what's around me and be grateful.