Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

CROWS

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images3 Now that the days are longer, now that spring  has announced its intentions, the crows are  happier. They like the tree line above the  riverbank, which puts them right in my  backyard. It’s their starting point, their meeting place. They wake us in the morning and serenade us after dinner. They congregate at first light and before sunset, their gathering telegraphed by their cawing chorus calling every crow within earshot to join the clan.

Dark clusters of crows swirl overhead in perfect arcs diving for the trees with a cacophony of calls. They light momentarily, then with unsettled haste, fly off again, the beating of hundreds of wings sounding like the winter wind that ushers in a snow squall. Flock after flock, like a reverse of stars in a black night, black dots against a terra cotta evening sky, follow an invisible flight path that takes them from treetop to treetop, again and again. There is agitation in their flight, an aerial helter skelter, with seemingly no point, no plan and no apparent purpose. Just a lot of noise and a lot of energy wasted going absolutely nowhere. Stragglers struggle to catch up with the main crowd. And when they do, they dive and tumble, somersaulting in mid air as if celebrating their acceptance by the others.

Sometimes interlopers appear. Uninvited bands of crows flying in from all directions intent on intruding on territory already claimed. This is when the sky blackens as all flocks merge into a monotone mélange of movement. There is no telling who is who… who is welcome or who is being told to go. That’s when they land in the treetops to settle the battle by squawking loudly at each other until somebody leaves. Is it the winner or the loser? Hard to tell with crows.

And what does it matter? Tomorrow they will repeat the pattern, obviously never tiring of the routine. Crows know how to have fun.


 

 

 

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

March 19, 2009 at 9:00 PM

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