Halloween in East Vancouver.
Chills and thrills, colour, crows and a bit of junk food thrown in for good measure.
It gets pretty spooky around here in late October. Being only a few blocks from “Fright Nights” at Playland, every night-time dog walk is accompanied by eerie sound effects and piercing screams floating on the chilly breeze.
In writing a corvid-centric Halloween post, I’m in no way agreeing that crows are even slightly creepy or scary. They’re so much more comforting than everything I see in the news these days, that I continue to mull the idea of a children’s book about them.
Things continue to be rather stressful around here as I, and neighbours, spend many hours writing letters to City officials in an effort to save the local poplar trees (and Marvin and Mavis’s nesting site) from destruction.
As a bit of diversion from truly terrifying international news and local activism, I’ve been pursuing a rather silly project.
My restorative therapy — training Marvin and Mavis to pose on pumpkins.
At first the orange alien was too intimidating to explore.
Motivation was needed.
Matching the colour scheme of the season, Hawkins Cheezies were the answer.* *Somewhere, a long time ago, I read that crows and raven share our human weakness for these fluorescent orange snacks. I’d tested this theory in previous years and found it to be true. Since I share their weakness for these splendid morsels, I rarely buy them. At Halloween I make an exception because you can buy them in the tiny Trick or Treat size. That way, if you only open one bag, the nutritional disaster is relatively contained.
Plus, most will be given to neighbourhood children.
Marvin was the first to brave getting up close and personal with the newcomer.
It only took him a few minutes to get quite comfy with the new landing platform.
Mavis is a lot more cautious than Marvin and, for a couple of days, she watched wistfully as he scored all the Cheezies.
Finally, yesterday, she gathered her courage and made her “moon-landing equivalent.
One small step for Mavis, a great step for crow-kind.
Sadly for them both, today is Halloweeen, and the pumpkin has to be carved and the Cheezies offered to the local children.
Maybe I’ll hold a bag back for them. Maybe two, so we can share them.
And perhaps a few Coffee Crisps, just for me …
Happy Halloween everyone.
*PLEASE NOTE: while crows will eat almost anything and, like humans, have a weakness for junk food — Cheezies should not form a significant part of their diet (or yours.) Generally I offer my corvid visitors more wholesome snacks like unsalted peanuts, good quality cat or dog kibble, occasional chopped up boiled egg and dried grubs (from Wild Birds Unlimited.)