More on Mabel August 02 2019, 0 Comments
Mabel and I go back a long way. When I first met her, she and George were a couple, and they visited my garden several times a day … for years. I wrote about them a lot in earlier blogs: their love story, their very tough year, the time that George was missing and, finally … Continue reading More on Mabel
Watching the ravens: amazing. Meeting the Ravenmaster: fabulous. Watching the ravens and tourists interact: priceless. We were a bit jet lagged for our Tower trip (first morning in the UK) and I was still trying to figure out how to use my new, tiny, and infinitely complicated, travel camera. But with only two days in … Continue reading Raven Watching at the Tower of London
I was very disappointed when this postcard arrived in our mailbox earlier this week. The matter of the Notre Dame School football stadium has now been put to the Development Permit Board for a decision on June 10. This is personally very disappointing, because I’ll be in the UK for my long-planned trip and won’t … Continue reading The Stadium, The Trees and Terrible Timing
Some of us always read the manual. Others do not (except in the direst emergency.) It would seem that our little Anna’s Hummingbird falls into the latter category. From everything I’ve ready about these tiny little birds, they meet most of their liquid needs from sipping nectar — from feeders or flowers. I have a … Continue reading Novice Hummingbird
Well, I’m not sure if they did it by guile, by force, or by consulting the Office of the Housing Ombirdsman, but somehow the Northern Flickers have regained occupancy of their nest. As you may recall, it wasn’t looking good for them in the last post, Battle of the Nest. The Starlings had moved right … Continue reading Conflict Resolution
When we left our happy Northern Flicker couple in last week’s post, they were making great progress with their plum tree nest building. Much sawdust had been mined and the pair were looking pretty pleased with themselves. I check their progress every time I walk the dog so imagine my surprise when I witnessed a … Continue reading Battle of the Nest
Sometimes you need to listen as well as to look to know what’s going on in the neighbourhood. This was the first sign that new tenants had moved into the ornamental plum tree on our street (one tree down from the current chickadee nest.) The dog stopped to check his social media messages at the … Continue reading Tap, Tap, Tap ….
Huge Thanks! April 24 2019, 0 Comments
Vancouver City staff and council heard from all over North America and from Europe. As Vancouver has an international image as a “green” city, I believe that international comments are fully valid. They also heard from many, many people from Vancouver. They received letters from those who have a personal fondness for this area, and … Continue reading Huge Thanks!
Mavis and I could really use your help to put in a good word for the Notre Dame poplar trees on Kaslo Street! Read on for how you can help. Oh, and it has to by tomorrow (April 18) – no pressure. If you have followed my blog, even for the shortest time, you … Continue reading Help The Poplars
As I look forward to watching the currently taping first episode of the last season of Game of Thrones, I’m also addicted to following the real life epic drama going on right outside my window … Game … Of … Nests! It’s a tense, political and, at times, violent tale. Marvin and Mavis have been … Continue reading Game of Nests
Nesting News April 07 2019, 0 Comments
If you feel your day is too hectic, just stop and watch the ceaseless industry of a pair of nest building chickadees ...
Raven Games March 14 2019, 0 Comments
I was worried that I wasn’t going to get well soon enough to go up on the mountains again this winter. Luckily, it’s been snowing like crazy up there (as well as in the city!) and I finally started to feel better earlier this week. Yesterday we headed up to Mount Seymour for a short … Continue reading Raven Games
The signs of spring are there. Admittedly, they’re a little tricky to spot in the world of snow and ice outside … … but the birds know, in their featherlight bones, that spring is just around the corner. The small birds, finches and song sparrows especially, are in full mating mode, chasing each other around … Continue reading Signs of Spring
It seems to have been an especially long wait this year. This, for example, was my studio yesterday morning. In case you’ve been wondering why I’ve been so quiet these past few weeks it’s not, unfortunately, because I’m on a tropical beach somewhere. For most 2019 thus far you could find me in my living … Continue reading Waiting for Spring
Crows make it look as if they have the world by the tail. When the dark river of them flies over to the nightly roost, they look powerful and untouchable. In her poem, Crows, Mary Oliver describes this view of them: glossy and rowdy and indistinguishable. The deep muscle of the world. But that anonymous … Continue reading Marvin and Mavis: A Love Story
Crowflix February 03 2019, 0 Comments
Sometimes the best way to tear yourself away from binge-watching the TV is to drag yourself outside and tune in to the always entertaining Crow Channel. I’d planned an archival Ken Burns-style documentary for this blog post, going over everything that’s happened with the local crows since I last did an update last fall. After … Continue reading Crowflix
If you’re a regular reader, you may be expecting a whimsical crow story , or perhaps some tongue-in-cheek home décor or fashion advice. This is not that, but don’t worry — normal programming will (as they say) resume shortly. Today I’m writing about something not so funny, but very important to an Urban Nature Enthusiast. … Continue reading Greenest City 2020?
It was going to be just me and my Buckley’s cough syrup for New Year’s Eve, but that seemed a slightly anticlimactic way to say farewell to 2018 Then I remembered the standing invitation to the wildest, loudest, coolest party in town. Attended by thousands, all in a mood to socialize … and everybody tucked … Continue reading Best New Year’s Eve Party
I thought I was actually going to be documenting the sudden and violent demise of Marvin this past Sunday. I was at Make-It! Market for most of last week, but I took an hour or so off on Sunday morning to mail some online orders. On the way back from the post office, walking down … Continue reading Sudden Sky Drama
1. Crows Are a Gateway Bird Crows are often the only obvious representative of the natural world that a busy urbanite might see in a day. Many more wild things live among us, of course — but crows are so “in your face” that they’re hard to overlook, no matter how distracted you are. Once … Continue reading 6 Reasons Why Crows Make Great Therapists
Since September, I’ve done a lot of writing. Probably more writing than I’ve done since my long ago thesis on Anglo-Saxon poetry. I’ve been writing letters … so many letters … to Vancouver City Council and staff. They’ve been rather boring letters, full of carefully researched references to building permits, footnotes and traffic management plans. … Continue reading A Letter to City Hall
Crow Therapy November 25 2018, 0 Comments
It’s been a busy week, starting on Monday when I was interviewed by Gloria Macarenko on the CBC Radio One’s show — On The Coast. You can listen to the interview here. The subject of our chat was my City Crow calendar in particular, and “crow therapy” in general. I must admit that when I first … Continue reading Crow Therapy
Words are important. But sometimes there seem to be too many of them. Too many we’ve heard, spoken, written and read. This week has begun to feel like one of those times. Whenever I’ve passed through the garden in the last few days — to do a little yard work, or on my way to … Continue reading Reading the Leaves
Halloween in East Vancouver. Chills and thrills, colour, crows and a bit of junk food thrown in for good measure. It gets pretty spooky around here in late October. Being only a few blocks from “Fright Nights” at Playland, every night-time dog walk is accompanied by eerie sound effects and piercing screams floating on the … Continue reading Trick or Treat