May 1 woods

The spring flowers in the woods are almost done, the undergrowth is getting thick, the fast-growing leaves in the treetops  blocking the sun. The woods are becoming cool and dark now and the prairie, where no trees block sunlight, will take over as the place for color.

On the home front, we have discovered a crows’ nest about 60 feet up in a pin oak tree where we can from time to time see two young fledglings flapping their wings, on the verge of trying to fly. The presence of this nest explains the aggressive pursuit by several adult crows of the local squirrels who live in the sycamore tree- I’d see the crows diving and swooping around the squirrels, chasing them off. I’d never seen that before, but it makes sense now- the squirrels would eat crow young, given a chance. Long ago, when I was working on a walk-board about 50 feet high, painting the eaves of a 3-story house, I saw a squirrel run up a nearby limb carrying in its mouth a live baby bird stolen from a nest. Until that horrifying sight I’d thought that squirrels did not eat meat- oh, the bliss of ignorance. Anyway, our sycamore-dwelling squirrels would’ve eaten crow young, no doubt, which explains all the rucus the adult crows raised. I thought they were behaving like schoolyard bullies but they were only defending their brood. Crows, too, will eat the young of other birds- birds of a feather and all that. I suppose as humans we should get along better than that but we eat our young, too, in some parts of the city.

So- a few sights from today’s walk-

Mary Isabelle


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2 Responses to May 1 woods

  1. Stacey F says:

    Hi Vivia, your comment about the baby crows starting to fly reminded me of a happy memory: us watching the housefinches fly from the hanging basket plant on my front porch. Remember that? I knew when I called to invite you over for the show that you, of all people, would appreciate that sight!

    • Vivia says:

      Oh yes, indeed I do remember that ! My brother now has a camera that looks at the nest of house finches who nest at his house every year so we get to see the whole process from egg laying to flying- I’ll send it to you so you can see it too.

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