Photo Inspiration for March

At this time of year, the crows always return to nest in the trees at my children's school.


The street that the school sits on is lined on both sides with hefty horse chestnut trees. The crows reside in each of those trees, a community of raggedy nests and cawing neighbours. 


They're intelligent birds, majestic when seen in flight. They have ties to Norse mythology and Native American legends. They're also survivors, adapting to the spreading reach of mankind. Yet for all this, they are often dismissed as villains or henchmen. We have books about rabbits, otters, and owls, but crows rarely figure as heroes. 


Years ago, a fellow member of a writing class told me a story about crows. Nancy was quite elderly by this time, American with a slow, drawling accent. She and her husband had been posted in Burma for some years (her husband had some bureaucratic role). In the grounds of their home, an old, immense tree had housed a community of crows. She called them the crows' court because on occasion, she would find the pecked, bloody body of one of the crows at the base of the tree. She saw this as a sign that the dead individual had been judged by his peers and, for whatever reason, sentenced to death. This might sound brutal but is that so different to our world and our own judgements on each other?

If you hadn't guessed by now, I like crows. They make me think, imagine, and stretch my mind into another world. They give me a reason to lift my eyes from the pavement under my feet.

What about you? What do crows mean to you? What do they inspire you to write?

Comments

  1. My mom gets a lot of crows in her yard. She lives on a mountain with tons of trees. We don't get as many here, but I love to watch them.

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  2. We have a whole flock of crows in the trees round our house but I'm sorry big black birds with nasty dead-looking eyes give me the creeps.

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    1. I always find them very interesting.

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  3. I remember reading an article years ago about a hidden but huge crow community in a certain city and how intelligent they are and the complexity of their social and economic systems. So I have no trouble believing they have judicial courts. And yes, they are appently highly adaptable. I imagine these birds are close observers of human behavior. Lots of material here for some good stories!

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    1. That's brilliant, Carol. Lots of material, yes.

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  4. I like crows. We have a neighborhood of birds behind our home.. robins, blue jays, cardinals, these beautiful gray and white ones with long tail feathers... and you guessed it, crows. Everyone seems to hate them but I've grown to really enjoy their presence. We even nicknamed one "Freddie" because he seems like a Freddie to us and comes right along our windowsill and peers inside, waiting for us to feed them. He even tries to move our shade open with his beak if the main window is up. Magnificent little creature, indeed.

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    1. We have lots of different birds in our garden too - think it could be because of the lack of gardening. The lawn is a bit of a field at the moment. Crows have great character, don't they?

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