Gazing Bowl’s Summer Gift

The gazing bowl (AKA Geordie’s outdoor water bowl) normally only provides consoling insights and quiet focus in the autumn months when it becomes a kaleidoscope of spent leaves and shifting reflections.

Perhaps it sensed that quiet moments were especially needed this week as it’s putting on a rare summer performance.

The floral patterns in the bowl are only subsidiary gifs — the main one is that the snowbell (Styrax japonicus) tree itself is in full magnificent bloom for the first time for years.

I’d begun to accept that it would never flower again, but this summer it seems to be trying to make up for every lost opportunity. At times the tree is so full of bees that standing under it is like sticking your head into to a hive (but less dangerous.)

That soothing bzzzzz and the dappled light are the essences of summer.

But back the gazing bowl.

It’s summer message seems to be something of the lines of … take a break from the endlessly dire news cycle.

Like the wise flight attendant, it’s reminding me — put your psychic oxygen mask on first, or you’ll be no good at helping anyone else. If your beauty tank runs dry, how will you find the energy to fight for what needs fighting for?

So, just in case you need a deep breath of stillness yourself, please take your own reading from the gazing bowl.

You can hum-m-m-m a bit to yourself to mimic the sound of the bees.

As Geordie actually needs the bowl to drink out of at this time of year, the important messages do need to be dumped and rinsed every day.

For now, there are fresh scrying bowl memos each morning — but soon we’ll have to wait until fall for the next hydromancy installment.

Mavis stops by for a visit with her own messages

 

 

 

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© junehunterimages, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Crows in the Boardroom

On Monday I jokingly posted the suggestion that crows would make excellently determined school zone speed limit enforcers.

I’ve often thought that an intense corvid stare might help bring home all kinds of messages.

Room for 28 crows more up here

The Wings enforcing their local stop sign

Today’s crow thought: why stop at traffic signs?

Put crows where the big decisions are made!

Instead of stuffy CEO portraits or generic landscapes, let’s see crows adorning the walls of the centres of power. We need giant judgemental crows gazing down at the humans sitting down to set policy in government and corporate settings.

A thoughtful corvid presiding over a meeting might help decision makers remember that any new plan should meet the objectives of that most important of all stakeholders — Nature.

At the very least, it would remind meeting attendees to not take themselves too seriously.

Crows — the ultimate influencers!

 

 

 

 

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© junehunterimages, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Nesting News – The Walkers

The Walkers and their nest have got me puzzled this year. As you know, the Wings have also got me scratching my head, so it’s generally a perplexing time of year.

The benefits of watching several crow families over a number of years include (1) always having things to wonder about and (2) seeing the endless variety of crow story plot lines.

Mr. Walker, corvid matinee idol, June 8 2022

The story of the Walkers’ nesting season so far:

Unlike the Wings , who live on a street with a big tree canopy, the Walkers have smaller trees to work with, so I was able to see the location of their nest.

Wanda sitting on the nest, early May 2022

A slight wrinkle in the Walkers’ nesting plans appeared a few days after I took the previous photo. The City tree crew hung signs on every tree on their block announcing imminent trimming work.

I know the City crews struggle to keep up with all the maintenance work but I do hate to see the trees disturbed during nesting season. On behalf of Wanda, who was unable to get to a phone, I called and emailed the City and requested that they delay the work until later in the year. Somewhat to my amazement, the signs were removed the next day. Small victories!!

Things seemed to be coming along nicely with the nest. Last week I heard what sounded like at least one fledgling in the nest and Wanda was out and about collecting food with Mr. Walker. I was expecting little Walkers any day.

Instead, I was baffled to see Mr. Walker busily carrying twigs to the next tree down the street a few days later.

At first I wasn’t even sure it WAS Mr. Walker as, in the rain, he looked rather like a Mr. Pants impersonator!

But no — definitely Mr. Walker, as he proceeded to jog along beside me in his inimitable style.  Here he was more recently, clearly working on the soft furnishings stage of Nest #2.

Confirming that something must have gone amiss with Nest #1 is the fact that Wanda has reverted to the early nesting season female behaviour of begging for food. They do this to get their mates into the habit of bringing them food when they’re confined to the nest incubating the eggs. Again, in this case.

Wanda adopts begging posture

Mr. Walker obliges with peanuts …

… having first thoughtfully dunked them in gutter water for extra succulence and flavour.

So there we are … I have no idea what befell of Nest #1.
It could have been any number of things … raccoons, cats, hawks, cars, operator error …

Sadly, it’s not uncommon, and clearly the Walkers are wasting no time in getting to work on a second go. The story, therefore, continues and we hope we have some new little Walkers before the summer is out.

Detail from Mr. Walker’s section of City Crow Stories, showing 2021 fledglings

 

See also: Meet the Walkers (December 2020)

 

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© junehunterimages, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Launch Countdown

I always have mixed feelings about this time of year when the baby crows, still in the nest, are getting oh so close to checking out the pros and cons of gravity.

Sometimes, if the nest is too high and the wings too fragile, this is their first and last adventure. However, most will make it to the ground and then the crow parents’ work really begins.

Fledgling crows are a little like feathered disaster machines — hopping blithely into roads, napping under parked car tires, wandering innocently up to cats, crashing into garden fences, ignoring crow territorial boundaries and antagonizing the neighbours — I’ve watched each one of these scenarios every spring.

My breath is bated for the entire month of June … and I’m just a spectator to all of this.

As I always like to advise people at this time of year, try and put yourself into the mindset of the very tired and very tense crow parents.

Yes, they may swoop at your head if you get too close to their precious offspring. There will definitely be a lot of sound and fury, signifying something.

But try not to think of this as an adversarial, crow vs humanity type of situation — rather just another way in which crows, as devoted parents, are very like us.

Lots of the cawing isn’t even directed at us. Sometimes, I’ve noticed, the parents make a huge amount of noise just for the purpose of making the vulnerable little baby crow calls less obvious to listening predators.

Sometimes they’re just delivering a loud and endless stream of advice for the fledglings’ benefit: “flap harder,”  “get off the road,” “sshh!”

And, if you MUST let your cat outside, please, oh please, at least keep them in during nesting season. Baby birds are, literally, sitting ducks for recreational feline hunters.

Also, take a moment to check around your parked car before driving off!

I haven’t actually seen a fledgling yet this year, but any day now …

I heard some quiet fledgling burbles coming from Marvin and Mavis’s nest a few days ago. Listen carefully after the car noise …

Marvin and Mavis were running a full time Uber Eats service between my deck (and an hourly peanut supply) and this tree a couple of days ago.

Here I am again …

They’ve also  been fiercely defending our garden against a new crow couple in the area. Marvin’s feathers have been in fluffed out warrior mode for so long I wonder if this may be his permanent new look.

On guard

Now Marvin and Mavis’s visits are much more sporadic and I have the feeling that the fledglings are on the move, so the parents just have to go wherever their waddling, falling or flapping takes them.  This is the most nerve wracking and disaster prone stage, so we can only wait and see what happens next.

More updates soon on other local crows’ nesting progress!

 

 

 

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© junehunterimages, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.