Crows’ Feet And Pasta – a menu for #Spring

Prima Rosa – yes the first rose. It is indeed the Spring and where there was nothing, suddenly there are primroses. Suddenly I draw them in through my senses and into my pagan soul. The crows fight savagely over sticks with which to build their nests. I get up at dawn to boil pasta to provide my noble scavengers with a romantic novelist’s breakfast. I love these birds. I think I worship them. In my children’s story Alf The Workshop Dog, all the wisdom of the world is stored in the crows. They are the default battery  on the motherboard of consciousness. (Did you ever wonder if digital language just has to reflect inescapable symmetries by way of metaphor and semi conductor?)

My friend H.B.

They have watched our futile struggles from the high trees since the dawn of conscious time. They have the DNA of dinosaurs, the politics of parliaments, the sheen of pimps, the stab of spike and claw, the stamp of merciless truth. Regular readers will recognise the photo of HB, my court favourite. Last week he showed up for breakfast bedraggled and desperate with hunger, only able to half hop on one leg. The others crows attacked him – such is the nature of the universe. I moved in close and for a moment he looked me in the eye. The other birds retreated or flapped off. He held my gaze and ate on. I circled keeping the others at bay. Finally he had eaten his fill. He took off back to his nest and fed some food to his mate. 

For the next two days he came, limping but stronger. He flew close by me before landing almost at my feet. Rivals moved in and he seemed to check me out for complicity. The others stayed away while he ate his Walmart fusilli and dog meat mash. Oooh, I’m a right cordon bleu you know!

Stark, stark. My kind has watched your species and bared your bones

Yesterday and today he has stayed up in his nest. He seems to be feeding on some agricultural land to the south of me. He has always been one to avoid the crush and shemozzle.  I watch him. He sat on my TV aerial while I hung out some washing. He watches me. He is still a bit lame but coping. He seems to have eggs in the nest. This universe has no mercy but it does support intelligence and the will to survive. Maybe just this once I have made a tiny tiny difference. Just maybe, beyond all the falseness of words and the dynamics of physics, some glue of friendship has some moral gravity or some value.

Emma Thinx: Friendship is an island. Ditch the swimming lesson.

The Wisdom Of Crows

Say Cheese

How long could I live if I were cast out into the wild? What use would be all my knowledge of the algorithms of Amazon or the price of peas in Walmart. I could live off my stored adipose reserves for longer than most, but quite soon I would fall from my perch.

I can never see the rooks in the garden without musing on these thoughts. These creatures live through wind, rain, ice and drought year after year. Estimates suggest that some can live for thirty years. I have a favourite whom I call HB, on account of his hooked beak. There is no easy way of sexing rooks. I assume he is male because he reminds very much of the Duke of Edinburgh. I first saw him seven years ago on the lawn.

Regal Rook

He was already a full adult so he must have been about four years old at least. HB is the most engaging creature I have ever encountered. He finds ways of eating almost anything. He takes any dry food to the drinking pot and soaks it for a while. He digs holes to hide spare food. When all the younger rooks flap off in a fright HB stands still, hands behind his back in Prince Philip mode and watches the situation.My guess is that he is completely politically incorrect. He then finishes all the food. We often look at each other. How I would love to communicate with this animal or indeed any member of the royal family. Recently I’ve been writing some children’s stories and of course, the great wisdom of the world calls to us from the high trees of the crows.

Prince Philip

The rook is a social bird with youngsters not breeding for several years. Instead they stay at home and help with younger family members. In short they are the most wonderfully intelligent and adapted creature. Few could fail to admire them. I’d like to think we humans are at least equally aware of our problems and solutions. Sadly, a lot of the evidence is to the contrary.

I think that there are few problems on the Earth that we could not solve. That is a fairly staggering idea isn’t it. Focusing the beam of human mind power and resources onto structured priorities is rather ambitious. But does anyone think we could not do that? I bet the rooks think we’re bright enough. I bet Prince Charles would agree.

Recently I came across a London based group of charismatic,highly engaged and intelligent young people. They have created a website with a simple ambition. There are problems. There are solutions. All you have to do with join them up. You create the software to navigate through the issues and link up the resources. Everyone can join in with a spade, microscope or whatever they can bring. They have created a prototype tool which you can see demonstrated here:

Rather than me droning on about their merits, check out these guys. They have also developed some smooth video producers. All is not lost guys – there’s a new generation out there trying to save us decadent old soaks from our follies. Whatever the result I know a rook who’ll be working out what to do whichever way it all shakes down

Emma Thinx: Joined up writing needed feathers. Think wild.

Bird Brains

Who the heck ever thought of the term “bird brain”? As a serious intellectual and major literary figure I often find myself humbled by the simple birds in my garden. I have a wonderful crow called “Hook-beak” who lives in a nearby oak tree rookery. I’ve been watching him for the past 5 years so I know he’s at least that old. His favourite little trick to is pick up dry bread and bring it to my bird bath to soften it. 

In France I have my two lovely pigeons Colin (the escaped racing pigeon) and his wild French lover Coline. Yes – he gave up his life of international travel and his batchelor pad in Scunthorpe UK to devote himself to love in France. 

And now I have Bongo, the performing pigeon. Like many quirky old Doris types I have a bird feeder – meant for sweet little birdies. Bongo has been studying it for months. The only thing that distracts him are lady pigeons before whom he poses and warbles before attempting a poorly planned sexual assault. At last he has cracked it. I am going to model my future on this bird. Just a couple more bounces and, if I can stretch just a little further, I’m gonna suck seed. 

Oooh – this blog just gets worse and worse. OK- I know what you really wanted. Blah blah buy my books blah blah. 

Emma Thinx: Do panic! You won’t fly if you can’t flap.