Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crows signal spring isn't too far away

A couple of days ago I was chatting with my friend Sue about the birds we've both seen. I told her I had two huge crows walking along the edge of my property and nibbling at the seeds that I had scraped from under the bird feeders and dumped along the edge of the field. I have high hopes that in summer they might grown into sunflowers - it's happened before, the flowers are pretty straggly but a few would be pretty regardless.

She replied - "that's amazing! I have two as well, walking along the road in front of my place."

I complained that as soon as I opened the door to get a photograph, no matter how sneakily I tried to do it, the birds, every one of them, not just the crows, flew away...

So she sent me this picture. (Actually looking at it more closely I think it's a raven - the beak and the tail give it away, but I'll continue with my story about crows anyway)

When I was a child my father used to read me a poem from a book of fairy tales and rhymes. The poem was called "Johny Crow's Garden"  and all the things that grew in it - "a lion with a green and yellow tie on" - for example. Funny what one remembers. You can "google" it  and read it if you want and see the delightful pictures that went with it. It was written by Leslie Brook who died in 1940. I've unfortunately lost the book - but when I looked it up on the "net" the pictures and story came flooding back.  " A pig danced a jig - in Johnny Crow's garden."

So crows have lots of different meanings for me as well as for others - there are lots of superstitions about crows. Now that's a book for sure!

For the past few days there have been a larger than usual number of crows hanging about and most often making a racket. Sometimes I'll see one by itself but lately they've been haranguing the neighbourhood calling across fields and way into the distance - and flying around in groups - a murder of crows they call it.

So I've taken it to mean that we're going to get a change of weather, because it seems to me that as soon as there are a lot of crows around here making a lot of noise, the weather turns... this time it's gone from sunny and cold for the past couple of days to gray and soaking with a constant drizzle, making the snow melt and what's left slippery. Maybe the crows will come back and caw the sun out - now that would be neat!

However, I'll be putting on my Aussie Koolah coat to go walk the dogs today and stay dry.

Hope the crows in your neighbourhood bring you some good news! And thanks Sue - for the photograph of "Johnny Crow."


  1. You are correct, the picture you show is a raven. Notice the thick coarse beak. Ravens frequently will drive crows out of an area if there is not enough food for both. These two closely related species compete for the same forage.

    Crows and ravens are prophetic in many Native American cultures. They are considered to be a symbol of good luck.

  2. I am reading these post backwards so I had to chuckle. You sure did get a change of weather didn't you!

    I was trying to photograph some birds yesterday (which I never do) and the same thing happened to me. I would stand silently and tip toe and every single time I would get close they would fly away lol I am sure I looked crazy to anyone watching me.

    I hope the presence of these guys really does mean a change of weather for you soon sweetie!