Black Crows…Counting Crows…A LOT of Crows.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary…”
crows7I did not intentionally trick you into thinking I was referring to the musical groups,  OR DID I?

OK, yes I did, hee hee. Sorry. 

And sorry for the uninspired Poe reference.

I don’t know about other parts of the country, but we here in Carlsbad are being INUNDATED with crows.

Actually, I think they’re really ravens, but I’m not sure.

There are SO many that it’s now a topic of conversation and everyone stops to take pics when they fly back to wherever they roost in the late afternoon just before sundown.

It’s like an end-of-the-world scenario. Or a Hitchcock movie.

Yesterday, I heard an amazingly loud cacophony, ran upstairs, and took a series of photos.

Some people, like my aunt, used to call them, “miserable crows” but I like them.

I know crows/ravens/whatever they are, are highly intelligent creatures.

I know that wolves and ravens have a social and mutually beneficial relationship.

Plus, even though my tugboat man strongly disagrees, (‘cos what guy will ever admit he’s lost), but I KNOW that a crow/raven guided us back to our campsite at Joshua Tree National Park.  One lone bird stayed with us while we were off-trail wandering through the big rocks, and finally flew only when we were safe.

Weird, huh?

Can you count the crows? Or ravens? 

crows6In all the trees as far as the eye can see, a murder of crows or a congress of ravens. Whatever. All I know for sure is that there are a shitload of birds here.crows8 A little after school learning going on.crows1 The birds are coming, the birds are coming!crows3 Who’s up for a soccer game?crows4

 

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Heron on House

While I’m making hub’s second-to-last dinner (he was given an extra day’s reprieve and is flying out on Monday–he’s so glad he can watch Beyonce  the Superbowl), I want to thank everyone who offered recipe suggestions–I’ll take pics today and post the results!

We live near a lagoon and some of it is still pristine, offering safe nesting sites for sandpipers and snowy egrets and Great Blue Herons like the one in this picture. I saw him as he flew overhead and landed on our neighbor’s house. He was kind enough to wait there long enough for me to run in the house for my camera.

As I’m typing, I hear the song of a red-tailed hawk circling my yard and off in the distance a rooster crowing. Early Sunday mornings are AWESOME. I hope your day is just as tranquil!
greatblueheron

Meow

Finishing up three or four posts that aren’t cooperating. They’re not funny enough, they have no point, no denouement, no zing–nada. Instead of a rational thought process, I’ll offer up a scattered smorgasbord of tasty appetizers instead of a whole meal.

Remember these cats?

bandit in a boxOur Bandit used to talk to us that way. After a while, I started answering her back. She’d say, “Meow“, I’d respond, “Meow”. She’d stroll into the kitchen and greet me with a head nod and a brief “Mew”. I’d imitate her head nod and answer her. She tried so hard to communicate with us! If we didn’t go to bed at the same time every night–if we stayed up a bit longer than usual–Bandit marched into the family room with an outraged sense of purpose-maintain eye contact–and kind of growly-meow, walk a few steps toward the bedroom, and then walk back to us. If we didn’t follow her, she’d leave in a huff and wait on the bed and if we didn’t move quick enough, one swipe of her her paw let us know she was pissed. She had the sharpest claws. They spoke volumes.

One day, the captain said something to me and I didn’t hear him. Instead of saying, “What did you say?” I said, “Meow?” He seemed to understand what I meant because he repeated himself. That one meow led to complete conversations in cat language. Angry meows, grunting meows, questioning meows, and mews in agreement. We just have to remember not to do it when anyone else is around. I’m not sure many people would understand. Meow?

We worked out at the gym this morning. Before we left, I asked the hubs to take a couple pictures of me. See the hairband with sparkles and the Hello Kitty slippers? Starfish?

me2 Pictures of me

Late this afternoon I heard a hawk in the eucalyptus tree across the street. It let me get really close for these pics! The colors were magnificent. I wish I took better photos.
hawk2 Hawk in tree
Chocolate cake was requested by my tugboat man; I whipped up an easy one bowl version. It was sooo good! It’s lowfat but really moist. The recipe is below.
choccloseup chocolate cake

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze
from Better Homes and Gardens

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I use half non-fat milk and half cold coffee)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • egg
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and lightly flour a 9×1-1/2-inch round or 8x8x2-inch baking pan.2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes more. Pour batter into prepared pan.

    3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Spread with glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1  cup confectioners sugar
3 tbsp. water or coffee
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens; do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, gradually add confectioners sugar; beat with wire whisk until smooth.

Hot Days and Blue Jays

Skinnny Cow ice cream. 150 calories and delicious. Nuff said.

I had a very productive day in spite of the fact that we’re having record breaking heat. We don’t have air conditioning because there are typically so few days a year that are this unbearable. We have ceiling fans and a standing fan, but right now they are merely moving hot air around.

I couldn’t stand it any longer and went shopping, where it was air conditioned and also crowded-obvs everyone else had the same idea of cooling off. I got a lamp that’s a perfect size for the piano and a pack of eighteen velvet slim hangers. I have been on a mission to replace all of my ugly plastic hangers with this new version and I’ve pretty much completed my clothing; this time I was working on the captain’s clothes.  It was a very satisfying task to line up all his shirts facing the same direction with matching hangers.

Every morning and afternoon a family of scrub jays comes to visit and eat; they love raw nuts. They’re such smart and friendly birds. Every year they bring their new batch of babies so we get to meet the entire family. If they come by and we haven’t put their nuts out, they look in the windows and squawk until we do.