Monday, January 11, 2010

letting the cold go, welcoming three ravens

According to the weather forecast, this morning's wake-up temp of 14 degrees is the end of our long cold spell. Later this afternoon we're supposed to hit the 40s (one source says 41, another 49!), and tonight will see us in the 20s. Nights in the 20s are still a bit cool for us, but after many nights in the teens, this upward shift is welcome. The ground doesn't get *quite* so rock hard in the 20s, and the ice on troughs not quite so thick.

I'm eager to get horse blankets off and open the barn up so the sunshine can get in and do its job.

It's hard to believe we're already nearing the mid-point of January. We still have the holiday decorations up, but it's starting to feel like it's *almost* time to take them down. I like the Christmas tree and the twinkling lights though - they make it seem warmer and not so bleak.

This morning there were three ravens in our interior back yard, which represents a kind of victory. For those who have read here since the beginning, you'll know of my long-time association with crows and ravens, and how a group of 3 began to appear everywhere I went for several years. When we moved here, the number increased, and I spent many months trying to get photographs of the beautiful black birds. They were shy, though, and for a long time flew away the moment I even lifted my camera through the window of my house. At some point last year they began to allow photographs, even some close shots, and then we called a truce and I stopped trying.

Since then, they have flocked on a near-daily basis to the arena, in the barnyards, outside my bedroom windows, and they often caw at me from trees when I'm outside. A few weeks ago I walked out to find an entire row of them sitting on the arena fence watching the donkeys play. I love these birds.

Today, the three in the closest space to our house means they have come almost all the way in to our circle. That the number was three just makes it that much more special.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm glad to hear you're in a warming trend. I hope we get some of those temps up here.

Ravens and crows are interesting birds, I don't know what having 3 means but I'm sure it's good luck. I read an article in the NY Times a while back where they did a study on crows and they are very smart birds who have facial recognition of the humans around them. If I find it I'll send it to you I'm sure you'd find it interesting.

On the decoration's, my neighbors leave them up wreaths and all until Easter. So there's no rush. I leave the candles in the windows until the batteries run out, so we keep a little holiday spirit for a bit longer around here. Like your new page too.

jme said...

that is so cool that you have a familiar flock at your farm! when i think of ravens or crows in threes i can't help but think of their place in celtic mythology... i love them too and after my foxes moved on i had a stray cat who came and fed behind the barn, but now it seems there are three giant crows or maybe ravens who come now to feed there. i haven't had a good look at them yet because they fly before i can get near enough, but i hope they stay :-)

Michelle said...

Crows are very smart birds. I took an animal behavior class once and I was amazed to learn about their resourcefulness. So cool they are getting braver! I used to have a female cardinal that visited me every single day for years after my first Neapolitan died. In fact, she visited until I moved out of the house. I still wonder about her.

Well, I sure hope we get some of that "warmth" down here soon! I'm running out of real winter clothes!

billie said...

Arlene, thanks for the article. I thought I had heard it on NPR, but my husband informed me last night that he told me about it. In any case, I finally have the details, thanks to you! Fascinating about crows and ravens recognizing faces and transmitting their knowledge of different faces throughout a larger flock.

billie said...

jme, I think of the Celtic angle as well. How cool that you have 3 at your farm too! I am hearing them today in the back but haven't seen them yet.

billie said...

Michelle, I love your female Cardinal friend - many years ago I had a Cardinal couple who lived and nested in a huge bush that was outside my kitchen window. I was able to watch them while doing dishes, and especially in the winters, when the colors were so neutral, the splash of bright red and slightly lesser red always made me happy.