She came back today with a quiet whisper. The parched reached to the sky and inhaled deeply again. In the madrone forest and on the beach the smell was divine. It was a promise of rejuvenation mingled with scents of dirt, sap, sweet salt air and a mist that drapes us in love.
Some of us have become rather rumpled. This little crow was so out of feather I fed him an extra peanut.
Fall isn’t really here until Friday but today I embraced it’s early signs.
Take the path with me towards a new season of our lives.
Leaving the 8th Street South Duwamish River access and the Pump House, I went by a parking lot full of garbage trucks. I should not be surprised that a crow was there on a sign post with his snack in beak.
Crows are opportunist and there he was hanging out by the garbage trucks knowing from experience he would find goodies. He must have not felt very threatened because he set the food down on the sign post and looked off into the rain.
Then he picked it up and flew off to consume his treat.
One never knows when a moment may occur. This afternoon I had to turn around behind a store and there sitting on a dumpster was this wet and lonely looking crow. Serendipity brought me to this place when I could not find a parking spot.
After taking several still photos, I took a video. Hope you enjoy the irony of the music and this male crow in the rain.
The rain is back today and poured during my weekly adventure searching for Crow Tales. At the beach a few hardy Northwestern Crows were foraging and were happy for a little bread. Here is one of the crew looking a little soggy.
With not much to report on Baby Crows or my usual cast of characters I thought it would be good to talk about Madrona trees. I mention them a lot lately because the Crows play, breed and hang out in the Madrona Forest that is above the Arroyos/Seola Beach. A lot of you might not have had much contact with them since they are a species that is not seen often outside of the Western side of the Pacific Northwest.
They have a very graphic look with their distinct color trunks and foliage. They are most often seen close to bodies of salt water and are fussy about drainage around their roots. They have white little bell-shaped flowers that become red berries. Many animals love them from birds to raccoons. We call them Madrona on the US side of the border. In Canada they are referred to as Arbutus. It is also known as the Madroño, Madroña, Bearberry, or Strawberry Tree. Its species name was given it in honour of the Scots naturalist Archibald Menzies who noted it during George Vancouver’s voyage of exploration.
Their Latin name is Arbutus menziesii and are described in Wiki as a broadleaf evergreen tree with rich orange-red bark that peels away on the mature wood, leaving a greenish, silvery appearance that has a satin sheen and smoothness. I found one that recently fell down and you can see the fabulous reddish bark they have in this picture.
Now a picture from the beach looking up towards the forest to give you a greater view of where they are and why the beach wildlife love living in them.
Madrona forest from beach at low tide
And now here is the bird with a Cinderalla come back story (American Bald Eagle) perched in a Madona.
It’s too early for baseball but this crow didn’t know that. He was waiting for the ball on Second Base. Well, maybe he was looking for worms and bugs around the base. The rain was coming down and the crows and seagulls were all in the field staying low while the storm passed. See how the water was pooling all around his little feet. I stood in the dugout and tried to stay dry myself.
It has been a rain, rain & more rain kind of day as the pineapple Express blew thru the neighborhood. The families of crows were hanging out together hardly phased by it all.
The tide was so high that the waves were crashing the driftwood around. No beach (sand or rock) was even visible. The kind of surf that one needs to stay away from. Don’t want to be crushed by a rogue wave & log. Obviously there were no crows down there.
The Beach gang was at the hairpin corner of MVD & 35th. About 22 of them in the trees who got very excited when they saw me. A little bread went a long way to help their mood.
Be sure to check out the Crow Map to see the latest counts and info on the local families.