I was asked if I would, said sure no problem, and ended up back at the DMV to ask for a one-day permit for driving the PNO van.
And got told no, the buyer needs to come in and get that. But they spelled out all the fees he would have to pay and they were half what he was expecting. Cool. I’m quite happy to make his life easier.
Then this evening I was out working in the yard, noting how much faster the late sun fades now. The camphor tree had several thick clumps of thin, weak sprouts from where it had previously been trimmed by Chris’s crew and those had gotten tall enough to start shading a few fruit trees a bit and this would not do. It’s easier to remove those when they’re new.
So there I was with this big trimming hook overhead when suddenly to my left a raven took off from the redwood tree just past the fence, heading towards my backyard.
Watching it come, I waved my arms as if to shoo it away as soon as it came past the shed.
Darn if the thing didn’t do an immediate abrupt turnaround and go straight back to that tree. If it was testing me it was conceding that it had been caught.
I’ve seen you chase my Cooper’s hawks and trying to steal their catches. I know you would kill my songbirds’ babies and that your population has been exploding while theirs are just hanging in there. You know I own this yard. Not you.
Then it came again.
There was nothing I could have done to keep it from doing what it wanted to do.
I waved again.
It again braked hard mid-air as if its heels sought to connect with something to help and again it veered back to where it had come from, swooping behind the redwood this time as if to hide.
Here it comes again.
Once is an oddity, two is curious, three and more, definitely a pattern–I started counting, watching, letting the camphor take care of itself a moment; nothing here but that raven and me.
I surely looked ridiculous. I was just a powerless little thing on the ground and its flights were almost as high as the top of that redwood. Each time it came in in a path that would take it straight over my back yard and me in the middle of it, but each time I would wave my arms just before it was quite overhead and each time it would stop right there, wings raised high flapping hard not going one inch further, then sharply away. The times it spent disappeared into the back of the tree became a few seconds longer.
The thirteenth time it retreated at last not to the redwood but across the clear open sky above several neighbors’ houses, one beyond the other, getting smaller and smaller and gone.
Yeah, like I trust that–I kept staring.
One potato, two potato, ten potato, coming from the left again with the redwood having been cover for part of its way back and here it came again. Whether it was determined to go where it wanted to go in the path it wanted to go in if I would just stop paying attention to it or whether it was simply a young one having fun playing a game with me and enjoying the attention–and corvids do play–I don’t know. But from there we went through three more redwood-to-almost-t0-me runs.
Territory: understood. Dominance: mine.
Finally, on round sixteen, it really did head way away, faster this time, across that open treeless airspace and at last that was the end of that.
I know crows and ravens recognize human faces and teach their young to at least the second and third generation to respond to those same faces. I can only wonder if this one had a family memory of a human with a gun.
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