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School art revealed in teardown

School art revealed in teardown

A Western Scrub Jay in Seattle has become a constant visitor during peanut feedings on our deck.  He is not shy like the abundant Stella Jays.  This little video shows him at our feet deciding which nut he should take or can he get both.  He took his time since he is not the slightest afraid of us.


Super Moon – Sept 2014

This photo of the recent full moon is awe inspiring.  This glorious sight brought me to think about how Crows worship the sun and moon.  I learned this years ago when we raised our baby crow Ellie. Every evening as the sun would set she would go to our house’s roof and face to the west watching the sun set.  Then she would go to her nest bin and let us put her away in the shed for the night. While observing the Renton Crow Flock each fall, they also would all congregate in the trees facing the setting sun.

Do they understand the mysticalness of the world in a profound way?   Do they know in their core something that we as humans have tampered down over the centuries.   Are they similar to the Druids who understood God in a closer way because of their nearness to nature?   Perhaps, this is why some people think crows are evil.  Crows perceive the world in such a different way than mankind plus we recognize their intelligence which frightens our structured world.

This discussion opens up a lot of questions and leads me to believe that we as humans need our organized religions to help guide us to goodness. However, creatures of the world like crows just know their place with God and each night glory in that moonrise or sunset moment.

Forest Sunshine

Forest Sunshine

Father Cedar shows himself

Father Cedar shows himself

Have you ever seen a person or creature out of the corner of your eye beside the road or in the forest?   Then to turn in that direction and only see a piece of wood or rock.  What I learned years ago is you just saw an elemental.

They are the spirits of the natural world who can be good or evil.   Generally in my interaction with them they are more benign.  They didn’t cloak themselves fast enough and I caught them for a fraction of a moment. Periodically, I see a face in wood like this live cedar today.   Another form is in driftwood or dead branches.  Captured in time this is a glimpse into their world.

Perhaps my interaction has been good since I give them respect as guardians of the forest or water.   There are other stories of them not being so nice.

Crow Pear Opportunist

Crow says yummy pear

Crow says yummy pear

One of my backyard local murder has found the neighbor’s asian pear tree.  Last year when the pears got ripe the family came out and plucked the tree clean of this delicacy.  Not sure if they will again this year but the crows being the opportunists they are have been snacking away.

Hard not to notice the poor condition of this birds feather.   It has continued to be a very intense molting season this year.  See how his elbows, around the eyes and neck are bare and even look abused.   Part of this is from sitting on their nest for so long but also how hot Seattle has been this summer.  Funny how most crow pictures show them all pretty black and sleek. Life is not quite that picture perfect.

I feel bad for my neighbors but am happy the crows find such joy in the tree.  If they do not pick the fruit it could ferment.  The birds who feed on it then will get drunk and act really goofy.   I have seen cedar waxwings (a bird slightly smaller than a robin that are brownish cardinal looking) do that when feeding on fermented berries on madrona trees.   So, remember humans are not the only ones who love the fruit of late summer and early fall.

Clark's Crow (Nutcracker) watching for a handout

Clark’s Crow (Nutcracker) watching for a handout

Clarks Nutcracker at Sunrise

Clark’s Nutcracker at Sunrise

Hoping to see a Raven at Mt Rainier this week.   Not to be totally disappointed we did have several interactions with Camp Robbers.   These birds that are part of the corvid family and are called Clark’s Nutcrackers or Clark’s Crows.

While I was taking these two pictures I did hear the raven cronk sound up on the meadow above me.   I did some serious searching but never saw my big black birds.

Mt Rainier Gas Station from a time gone by

Mt Rainier Gas Station from a time gone by

When Sunrise was first developed about 80 years ago they put in a gas station.  Can you picture the Model A & Ts driving up this windy mountain road?  We Northwesterners have wanted to see “The Mountain” for ages.

Not sure how long ago it was decommissioned but as you can see it has been quite a few years.  The snow and nature in general has done some work on the structure.   However, when I peeked in the window in the door I could still smell the fuel.

Sunrise Mt Rainier old gas station

Sunrise Mt Rainier old gas station with Day Lodge in background

Clouds coming in on Mt Rainier at Sunrise

Clouds coming in on Mt Rainier at Sunrise

This week we drove to the top of the world – Mt Rainier.   At 6,400 feet it is the highest visitor center on the mountain that you can drive to.  Hope you enjoy the raw beauty of this wonderland.

Baby Crow with icky eye giving me the look.

Baby Crow with icky eye giving me the look.

I had heard about an albino crow at Lincoln Park.  This week I went there on a quest to see this mystical bird myself and perhaps get a photo.   This special bird did not show itself but I did find a baby crow with its parent at the beach.   This little guy had a raw looking eye either from molting or some sort of bad occurence.  When I took his photo he gave me the Crow Eye.

Then around the corner from Coleman pool (a rare saltwater swimming pool) there was an older male crow on the fence.  He allowed me to take his photo but not without giving me the Crow Eye too.  Check out how his feathers are brownish and degraded.  He is in full molt.   This year all the crows seem to be having a serious molt.  I blame that on the hot weather, which must have put a lot of wear and tear on their feathers.

Lincoln Park Molting crow    got his eye on me

Lincoln Park Molting crow got his eye on me

Murder in Flight

Crows were congregating on the beach and got excited over food or an eagle checking them out.  The tide was low and they were out in a big murder.   They were feeding when something got their attention which started a big mass fly up.


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