Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Special Tennis Match

Three mornings a week before sunrise Ellie and I repair to the public courts at Tuscawilla (Ocala) to meet our friends for tennis. On this particular morning there was quite a crowd-- not just tennis players, not just people.

These public courts are in a park with a lake and a bird paradise. For years we've watched a crazy woodpecker try to get a bug out of the steel light standard. Just before sunrise a flock of ibises comes in from the east and lights on the dead tree at the corner of the courts; they sit there, watch our tennis game and wait for the sun; then they fly down onto the lake and begin feeding. A mocking bird listens to our game intently apparently trying to learn our song; a jaybird tries to eat our ball.

But the crows are something else. On this particular morning they were a multitude: A crow convention! Hundreds of them flying around and cackling. Then they grouped on two telephone lines across the street half a block away. The cackling stopped; they all just sat there--about 40 on one line and say 50 on the other. Then one of two would change lines. Quietness! Silence!!

Then they scattered making a ridiculous racket-- and gathered again as before. I never saw anything like it. Well it reminded me of a Methodist Annual Conference, no, a Quaker yearly meeting, no best of all the annual gathering of FGC because these crows were from all over the world.

We have a very special friend and Friend; she calls herself nocrow. For years she's had a thing about crows; she would talk to them; she told me they were more intelligent than some people she knows.

If you don't think crows are smart, read Lilith.

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