It was going to be just me and my Buckley’s cough syrup for New Year’s Eve, but that seemed a slightly anticlimactic way to say farewell to 2018
Then I remembered the standing invitation to the wildest, loudest, coolest party in town. Attended by thousands, all in a mood to socialize … and everybody tucked up for bed by 5:30. My kind of party!
I always find New Year’s Eve to be a bit melancholy, to be honest, so that, combined with the cold I’d had since just before Christmas, put me in need of an extra large dose of #crowtherapy
So, around 4pm, we arrived at Still Creek. Hardly any crows were there and I fretted, as I always do, that something was wrong and they wouldn’t show up this time.
We scaled up to our usual vantage spot on the Willingdon overpass, and from there, nestled among a small herd of abandoned Whole Foods shopping carts, we saw the crows coming. Rivers of them, as usual.
It’s always such a relief when I see them start to arrive. Larger swirling crow figures in the foreground and tiny, barely visible, specks on the horizon that mark those bringing up the rear.
In the riotous spiral of newcomers in the video below, you can see a mix of gulls with crows (probably brought over in the tide of excitement from the nearby dump) and you can hear, amid the uproar, a cool “knocking” call, almost like a raven.
Once we were surrounded by swirl and squawk on the overpass, we started to move on to the next viewing spot — walking under the overpass and west on Still Creek road. We took the path that runs along the creek and emerged just behind Dick’s Lumber.
Light was fading by now and the crows were jostling for the best sleeping spot — on wires, on branches and on top of buildings.
In the midst of the crow-cophany going on in the video below, you can hear at least two crows making a “barking” call.
I can’t wait to hear what the University of Washington study into the meaning of all the crow sounds at the big roost at their Bothell Campus finds out.
As all the crows started to settle in for the night, we headed home.
Phillip went night snow-shoeing with some friends, but I was by now ready for my night in with the cat, dog, and cough syrup. I watched the Knowledge Network TV documentary about Judy Dench and the wonder of trees, then a 2007 film I found on Netflix called “Death At A Funeral” which kept me laughing until Phillip got home.
Really, a perfect New Year’s Eve.
I hope yours was similarly splendid, whatever form it took. And all good wishes to you all for a healthy and happy 2019.