Easy to be Hard

I usually write about crows and nature.  Today, I was so impacted by an article on what Curt Schilling did when internet trolls attacked his daughter.  I was driving home and heard the story which for me rang so true.  He searched down through the internet these blue meanies and exposed them to the world.

Image result for troll

Many of you don’t know that not only do I love Crows but I am a big NASCAR fan.  I know, go figure.  My point is that Danica Patrick the first female driver in the NASCAR big league gets the most awful comments.  These men would be ashamed if their mothers or wives even knew what they were typing into the chat rooms.  Watch out guys, there are those out there who can expose you for the troll you are.

I got home and on the evening news was what Curt did for his daughter tracking down these trolls.  My husband went right to music.   He pulled up a song from Three Dog Night that says it all:

How can people be so heartless?
How can people be so cruel?
Easy to be hard, easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings?
How can they ignore their friends?
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

This is courtesy of –  Easy To Be Hard Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Murder in Flight

The beach family gave me a show last weekend.  It was later in the day and low tide.  They were playing with each other and the young crows were trying to impress the girls.  Mating season is coming!!  And that means baby crows.

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Early spring colors

West Spring has Sprung

I feel guilty that my garden in Seattle is blooming wildly while it is freezing in the East.  It has been so mild here that we broke all the high temperatures for February.  The daffodils and other plants in our yard are so happy.  May this chase your winter blues away!!

The Crow Family Man

Being the Crow Family Man is a tough job.  It is spring in Renton and it seems to be coming earlier than usual.  It is show time for our annual try at raising a family.

Crow Pink Mouth - a rare treat = baby crow!

One of our triplets from 2013

Each day we awake in the big roost down here in the valley south of the town of Renton. The night before we flew over to join the shenanigans at dusk.  Then all together we go find our favorite trees for a group sleep.

Renton Crow Roost forms up

Renton Crow Roost forms up

When the sun just begins to bring light into the branches, we stretch and fly out of the trees. Our home territory isn’t far from the main roost, so we just bop over to it.  This place we have staked out as ours has good accommodations for us crows. It is close to a food source, it has lots of evergreen trees for our nest, there are other trees with sticks and branches for building and good guard roosts.

Food is important for raising a family.  We crows will eat just about anything but baby crows need a protein rich diet.   This home of ours has both natural and man-made food sources.  Off to the northeast of us is a small marshy pond.  There we find bugs and grasses to gather for the kids.  Our area is a major intersection for the humans. This can give us the bounty of road kill and other food items thrown by humans from their cars. Off to the east of our spot is a place called Burger King.  We don’t claim that as ours because it is too popular for other crows.  The fighting to keep it to ourselves isn’t worth the risk.   It does have some good eats in the surrounding parking lot from humans throwing out trash and the always full garbage cans.  You could say we have a pretty stable food supply.

Renton Crow Gathering

Renton Crow Gathering at Burger King

The right tree for the nursery is very important.  We prefer evergreen trees because of their dense foliage and sturdy branches to build upon.  In this case we have a good selection of pine trees.  Several nests have been successful in this row of trees.  Sadly, we have lost a couple of babies in them too.  That was when my wife and I first started out. We weren’t very experienced and over the last couple years have learned a lot the hard way.

These good nesting trees have many maple trees near by. This is just as important for several reasons.  They provide good sticks and branches for nest-building in the early spring when we assemble our new home. These small branches we can easily break off with our beaks. They also shed a lot of good nest material that we can forage from the ground. When the babies fledge these trees provide a protected play area where they learn to fly.

Lastly, we have good roosts to watch the nest area either visible to all or secretly tucked away from prying eyes. This includes light posts, traffic light arm standards, a big IKEA sign, buildings, an antenna (that does not work anymore) on top of our adopted company’s building, and across the street a bunch of pipes, vents and a man railing.

Tall IKEA sign for guarding

Tall IKEA sign for guarding

Crow Love Birds on old TV Antenna on our building -  they are still together after fight & death of other crow

Crow Love Birds on old TV Antenna on our building

Me and my girl each morning have been investigating the trees trying to decide which one we want to make home.  Perhaps we will reveal that to our human friends, so you can watch us raise this year’s set of baby crows.

Man rails make a good roosting place

Man rails make a good roosting place for spring crow love

Pink Flowers and the Cranky Lady

Pale Pink Rhododendron

Pale Pink Rhododendron

Today my walking adventure was restricted to only a half hour.  The Daytona 500 Qualifying was going to start at 10:30 and I had to be back. Yes, I am hooked on NASCAR.

I had a certain route in mind that would get me back in time, but when I got to the corner of 39th & 106th, I saw this glorious full bloom rhododendron.   That was my serendipity moment and I diverted myself to go see it.  But first before I started snapping shots of the flowers, I saw a Robin up on a wire.

Robin singing his spring song

Robin preparing to burst into spring song

This bush resides in front of a house that I have eyed for many years.  The house always seems empty and under some construction.  The front window has had plywood put up.   This board is inside not outside which is odd.  My guess has been that an old person lives there or it was abandoned.   The driveway is a semi-circle but I never see a car in it and it is full of brush from a tree pruned years ago.   The rhododendron is not maintained but it does not care, it is in full spring flower.

A couple was walking by and we even noticed bees flittering around the blossoms.   If you have followed my blog, I have done several photos of bees.   Here was my chance to get a 2015 early bird bee.  About this time an old blue passenger van drove by really slow.  I mean really slow.   He went past the house and then a young lady popped out with a camera.   We commenced to talk about the glory of the pink bush.  She wanted a picture for her mom who lived somewhere that had no flowers yet.

Then I saw the crocus.   They were in the untended flowerbed and were perfectly open Dutch Crocus which are a larger variety.   As I was taking that photo the next door neighbor came charging out of the house.  She was even in her house robe still.   She commenced to tell us to stop taking pictures of that house.  That it was not for sale.  Wow!!  We were shocked by her venomous approach.   So, I told her we were just taking flower pictures.   But it was also my chance to ask about who lived there.  I asked her if someone old lived there.  She answered that a young man who was a longshoremen lived there and the house was not for sale.

OK – she made her point and I reminded her we were just flower aficionados.   She turned on her heels and went back into the house still in a huff.   The young lady and I took a few photos and laughed at our happiness and felt sorry for the old lady.   Her ride came back and she wished me a fabulous day and I the same to her.

Crocus Vernus - aka Dutch Crocus

Crocus Vernus – aka Dutch Crocus

Lincoln Park Tree Crows

A few weeks ago, walking through the forest of Lincoln Park, I came upon a flock of Crows. They were foraging around the edge of the trail and I walked into the trees to lure them with some peanuts.

 

Crows in the forest meadow

Crows in the forest meadow

After they played who can get closer for a peanut, they flew into the trees.  Into the trees which to them is home.   Imagine them in their family room playing with the crow teenagers.

Crow's family room

Crow’s family room

Tree hopping

Tree hopping

Just hanging out

Just hanging out

They’re Back!! Crows of Renton

Renton Crow Roost forms up

Renton Crow Roost forms up

Driving home last week a huge flock of crows came barreling out of the trees.  I had to pull over into a parking lot and film their crazy antics.

I like to say “They’re Back!”.  However, reality is it is getting dark later, so they are mobbing now around the time I go home.

Can’t get enough of their rowdy party before they go roost for the evening.