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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

Raven Watching at the Tower of London July 14 2019, 0 Comments

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

The Stadium, The Trees and Terrible Timing May 29 2019, 0 Comments

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

Conflict Resolution May 11 2019, 0 Comments

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

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!

Help The Poplars April 17 2019, 0 Comments

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

Game of Nests April 14 2019, 0 Comments

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 ...

Signs of Spring March 09 2019, 0 Comments

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

Waiting for Spring March 08 2019, 0 Comments

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

Marvin and Mavis: A Love Story February 14 2019, 0 Comments

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

Greenest City 2020? January 13 2019, 0 Comments

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?

Sudden Sky Drama December 19 2018, 0 Comments

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

6 Reasons Why Crows Make Great Therapists December 06 2018, 0 Comments

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

A Letter to City Hall November 29 2018, 0 Comments

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

Trick or Treat October 31 2018, 0 Comments

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

Environmental Dead Zone September 27 2018, 0 Comments

My previous post was more of a sentimental ode to the patch of scrappy urban nature that may soon be gone. This one is bit more pragmatic — and a plea to any readers who know of research or information that would support the preservation of a few more fragments of wildlife habitat and green … Continue reading Environmental Dead Zone

Urban Nature Is Fragile September 26 2018, 0 Comments

I am filled with sadness every time I look out of my window lately. We have lived here for 27 years and my favourite view has always been of the row of Lombardy poplars fringing the private school at the end of our block. In the fall it is golden, in the winter and early … Continue reading Urban Nature Is Fragile

Red Hot Fall Fashion Tips September 07 2018, 0 Comments

Bringing you, direct to you from the runways of East Vancouver, the very latest in autumn fashion inspiration. I encourage you to leaf through the new trends and adopt some elements to create your very own signature fall look. I can guarantee  you will stand out from the crowd.   The Statement Nostril I really … Continue reading Red Hot Fall Fashion Tips

Nesting News May 17 2018, 0 Comments

In our local Crowlandia we’re ricocheting between serenity and stress. Suspense is the name of the game as eggs and hatchlings start to fill the nests. Most days it’s seems really very peaceful. The crows maintain an uncharacteristic hush behind leafy screens, quietly guarding their nests. In April, it was possible to see a pair … Continue reading Nesting News

Ordinary Days April 26 2018, 0 Comments

Some days there are no ravens. Most days really. And there are no spare minutes to go swanning off after bluebirds. There are days that are just endless paper jamming — waiting on hold — stuck in traffic — number crunching — brain numbing — is it over yet? — sorts of days. At these times … Continue reading Ordinary Days

Special Days April 25 2018, 0 Comments

Some days there are ravens. Some days, there are even mountain bluebirds. When such things miraculously appear in my own urban neighbourhood I tend to (if at all possible) just drop everything and follow them. I’ve been ridiculously lucky for the past two weekends. It was the raven the weekend before last. She hung around … Continue reading Special Days