Crow

Yesterday when I came home from co-working with Andrea (all WCSF, all the time, that’s us), I was surprised to see a crow sitting in my front yard. You don’t usually see crows sitting on the ground, so at first I thought it had been injured — despite repeated pleas from the Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy for people to keep their cats indoors, there are a lot of free-roaming cats in my neighborhood. I walked toward it to check (I grew up with an endless stream of injured wild animals being rehabbed thanks to my mom and grandparents), but it stood up and started walking around.
a crow in the front yard
As I got even closer it finally flew away, and I went about my business.

This morning I walked over to the coffee shop on the corner while it was still dark. When I came back the sun was up and I saw something dark in the yard in the same spot the crow had been sitting in the day before. It was the crow again. I thought maybe it was sick or stunned, but I could walk right up to it and it was not moving — neither the tremble that goes with the trauma stillness so common to birds, nor any movement indicating breathing. So I guess it died. Why it came back to that same exact spot I have no idea. It didn’t really look like it had fallen out of the air while flying, it looked like it had been sitting there again and keeled over (though I suppose Jasper the neighbor cat might have had a hand in it, I didn’t see any obvious attack signs).

They say finding a dead crow on your lawn is a sign of good luck, because crows in general are an omen of death and misfortune. I happen to really like crows and don’t think of them that way (possibly because of nursing a crow back to health with my family when I was a kid). To me it just means I have to dig a hole (note to self: buy shovel since SE Tool Library not open until weekend) and bury the bird. That said, I have a couple of trees arriving this weekend that I’m supposed to plant anyway, so at least one of them will get some good fertilizer.

Thistles

Since it’s my first summer in the house I wanted to see what would come up on its own, so I haven’t been weeding or cutting down plants. As a result some thistles grew up near the path to the front door.

At first I didn’t cut them because I had vague notions of looking up the leaves to see if it was milk thistle, which is good for the liver. I didn’t get around to looking, though, and they kept growing. They’re just about as tall as me now, protruding into the walkway.

a. Sorry, mail carrier.
b. It’s ridiculous that we get free home delivery of mail these days.

Last night I finally looked up the thistles I have, and they’re not the helpful milk thistle, but rather a common invasive species. So I suppose I will cut them down and toss them in the compost.

a. You are welcome, mail carrier.
b. Sorry, Eyeore.

I will say, though, that for all the sharp and spiny stabbery that thistles bring, they have a pretty flower, and pollinators love them, as I saw today.

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So maybe I’ll wait a little longer to chop down the thistles. Sorry, mail carrier.