Crow Therapy, January 2020

 

2020 has left me feeling rather hopeless so far. Everything I’ve thought of writing about seemed trivial to the point of being worthless.

As usual, it took a crow to get me to pull my metaphysical socks up.

It helped, I’m sure, that a day without rain permitted me and my air cast to venture out past the confines of the back yard.

It been early December since I’ve been able to get around far enough to check on the corvid situation and I was happy to get out and see Mabel and family, Art and the gang and Ada the young crow.

I’m not sure why, but it was Ada who adjusted my mindset.

I’d been thinking that posting pictures of crows and other birds on social media, even making art from my bird images, seemed just so inadequate. I should make more impactful, statement-making art.  I should quit taking photographs altogether and devote myself to action for climate, social and political justice.

Possibly all of those things are true, but Ada pointed out that sometimes the best thing you can do is keep on keeping on with the small, hopeful projects.

My photographing and writing about my local crows is unlikely to change the world.

I do have small, subversive ambitions. I hope that my words and images create familiarity with other species … leading to love and protective instincts … leading to action.

So, here is Ada.

She came down to see me and I put some peanuts down for her, but she was being intimidated by some more senior crows. She was tempted, I could see, to fly away and leave them to it, but she stood her ground.

You can see she gives a nervous little wing flap after the other crow caws above her, but ultimately decides to stick it out. She did get the peanuts in the end.

So, there you are. Just another little bird anecdote.

More coming in 2020.

If you feel you need daily #crowtherapy or #birdtherapy you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook, where I try to post at least once a day.

Ada also wanted me to pass this on. If you’d like to help out the countless creatures displaced and injured by the fires in Australia, you can donate to WIRES, an Australian non-profit wildlife rescue association. To help people who have lost everything in the bush fires, you can donate to the New South Wales Rural Fire service.

23 thoughts on “Crow Therapy, January 2020

  1. Oh I so sympathize with you on the post holiday slump and dreaming up new content for a long running blog. I personally took to a daily photo only with limited comentary while working on more robust subjects at my leisure.

    One of the things I plan to do to get me motivated is to change the theme of my blog and then post an article about my all time top ten posts by hit counts. I have done that several times and it makes me feel really proud of what I have done over the years. The theme thing is a little harder I think, I spent a few hours browsing the options and left unchanged. Then I saw another blogger who visited my site and really like his theme. Might try that one and feel like I got new shoes!!

    Keep up the good work, I love how you can identify and name your crow families. Thanx!! Robin aka Batgurrl

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement. It’s not that I don’t have ideas for the blog. I think it might be partly that I have too many and partly just because I’m second guessing if it’s the best use of my limited time left on the planet. Not that I’m planning on leaving it soon, or anything, but my mother died when she was only a couple of years older than me, so I find that a sobering thought when it comes to prioritizing my time. So much needs to be done.

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  2. Personal Saddest Thing So Far This Year:
    No crow calendar! You’d sold out by the time I got around to trying to order one.
    You’re obviously doing something (a LOT of things!) right. Your crow conversations are reaching people, so be of good cheer. And keep on keeping on. Your blog is a bright light in the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. June,
    We all feel overwhelmed at times, especially with all the strife, political and natural, in this tired old world – not to mention your poor foot!
    But – your blogs and your pictures help the rest of us see the beauty and hope in these amazing creatures. Our hearts are lightened every time we see your post in our emails – never underestimate the value of your work – we don’t!
    Regards,
    Jan Smith and Ray Bula

    Liked by 1 person

  4. THANKS JUNE FOR YOUR LATEST FUN POST! I ALWAYS ENJOY THEM AND FORWARD TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

    HERE IN GIBSON’S (SUNSHINE COAST) WE HAVE MANY CROWS WHO USUALLY FIND THE SUNFLOWER CHIPS BEFORE THE SMALLER BIRDS……..BUT THEY ARE ALL THRIVING AND MOSTLY ALL GET ALONG.

    I’VE BEEN A BIRDER FOR MANY YEARS AND WE WERE BLESSED WITH HAVING THE XANTUS HUMMINGBIRD LAND IN OUR GARDEN BACK IN 1998. SHE WAS NEVER BEFORE SEEN NORTH OF THE BAJA. MANY BIRDERS FROM ALL OVER SAT WAITING PATIENTLY TO PHOTOGRAPH HER……MET SOME INTERESTING PEOPLE! YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF THIS.

    YOUR PHOTOS ARE FABULOUS! LYNN THORSTEINSON >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. June, we resonate with your ennui wondering if the work you do makes an impact at all– as we occasionally fall into the dark pit of hopelessness ourselves. But what you wrote about hope is also true: your work DOES inspire relationship with nature/crows which will (over time help) lead to humans to reconnect to nature/crows and that informs our choices with respect to climate change, social justice, etc. Every person has her part in the process.

    We’ve recently discovered inspiration in the work of Edmund Selous, a British ornithologist and writer. He lived in the mid-1800’s to early 1900’s and was one of the first (white guys) to oppose the shooting/killing of birds to study them. He believed so much more could be learned by quiet, long observations. He was scorned by his fellow ornithologist /naturalist colleagues, but went ahead observing and carefully documenting all he saw. Now he is considered one of the first to propose ethics of birding and conservation. The Audubon Society should more aptly be named the Selous Society.

    Even though in some moments you feel you are all alone in the Effort or that your particular Effort isn’t big enough, please keep it up. Stay true to your love, your passion, your talents.

    Together we’re changing minds and culture, a process that isn’t always easy.

    Of course Edmund Selous was independently wealthy and could spend all his days watching birds without concern of paying the bills! The rest of us, on the other hand, must form alliances and support one another. Thanks for your blog, your photos, your jewelry and your calendars. We wear your images daily!

    Rebecca Provorse & Gary Granger
    Portland, Oregon
    Pdxcrowroost.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Next time I get down to Portland I hope we can get together. I went to our roost here at Still Creek just east of Vancouver on New Year’s Day and I’m certain there are fewer crows there (another blog post in the wings, as it were.) The area is changing fast with more and more land developed every day and I suspect the crows are being crowded out. I must read up on Edmund Selous. I was given The Bedside Book of Birds for Christmas, essays collected by Graeme Gibson (the recently deceased partner of author, Margaret Atwood). It’s a wonderful collection but some of the writing by early ornithologists are a bit stunning in their cavalier attitude to killing and “collecting” birds. Don’t fall into the dark pit of hopelessness, please. I’m sure Edmund probably felt the same at times. One day I’ll come to Portland and we can have a beer and go look at crows!!

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  6. June, I get a lot comfort from your posts and photos (& from my own adopted crow family…I enjoy watching them vs. watching the morning newscast). Maybe there’s more than a few of us out there who take comfort locally so we can reach out globally.
    Things are dire out there. Thank you for your suggested Australian wildlife site – I didn’t know where to donate.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My heart lifts every time I see ‘Urban Nature Blog’ in my email, especially now here in Melbourne, Australia where life has become scary and full of trauma. Although many miles away from the fires, we’ve had days of smoke haze as a reminder of the scale of the fires in East Gippsland.

    Thanks so much for your call to donate to WIRES. The devastating loss of wildlife has been unimaginable and everyone fears for those injured and how survivors will cope with the habitat loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi June,
    Ada is the most beautiful crow and used her charm and good looks to reach you and help lift your spirits. I too get low creative phases, question self worth etc and then remember that what I do is from where I am and then be open to impulses to go forward or change direction, something usually pops up!
    Thanks for the call out for the people and wildlife affected by fire here in Australia. Perversely one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen is after a fire, the bright green new growth against blackened trunks and limbs that signals hope and endurance is very inspiring!
    You are in tune with all around you, that’s seen in your work, so keep looking for anything to appreciate, it works wonders!
    Take care
    Lorraine Meeks

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  9. Do I ever need your Crow Therapy now ! Fractured my ankle while snowshoeing at Seymour on Jan. 2 and will be housebound for at least 2 months. Reading your blogs helps keep my spirits up and makes my days go easier. Thank you June !!

    sheilah

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    • Oh no, Sheilah, I can relate to the air cast blues for sure. Best stock up on some good books. I got a rain cover for my air cast so I can hobble about a bit outside in the snow, but I’m now into week 5 of cast-life and starting to heal a bit. Good luck and keep that foot raised.

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