Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15: Cat's view

Beautiful sunny day here, unseasonably warm, the kind of weather that--along with the neighbor's guitar-playing out on his porch--just beckons one outside. I tried to spend a good chunk of time out in the sun, raking off some garden beds and planting a few hardy flowers, wandering barefoot around the mossy lawn, and dragging my mat out to the bright back porch for my daily exercises. And when I got into the car to run some errands, I indulged in another one of my favorite summer Sunday pastimes: listening to the Red Sox game on the radio.

One of the day's entertainments has been watching the crows. Throughout the day the local gang has been following and haranguing the newly-returned osprey. The osprey seems fond of this stretch of the river, flying back and forth low over the water, sometimes perching in one of the big trees in our back yard. I can tell by the tone of the crows' caws when they're on the job. At one point, a crow was barking its "alarm call" over and over right right behind our house. I held the cat up to the window so she could see the crow, but she didn't seem all that interested despite the bird's proximity and loudness. What she was attracted to was a flurry of motion in the dead leaves on the opposite bank of the river: two courting squirrels circling tree trunks in a hormonal frenzy. She may not be attuned to crow calls like our former cat was, but she certainly has good eyesight.

As I've been typing this out on the back step, the crows have been shifting places from tree to tree to keep a close eye on the osprey, which just flew back up river and is perched in one of the neighbors' maples. For the moment they're not yelling. One crow plucks at a twig and makes weird rattling noises; another just perched on the tree closest to me and sits there looking in my direction. "Yes, I'm writing about you," I tell it. A third is splashing around in the river taking a bath. Now it too has flown up to a nearby tree, shaking and ruffling its wet feathers. Apparently they've called a temporary truce with the osprey.

Who can ignore crows?
Yet Cat would rather swat at
flies, stare at squirrels.

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