“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you”.
– from the Book of Job (12:7-8)
At the end of the day I usually have to wait about half an hour for my carpool buddy. My favorite place to spend those thirty minutes is outside in the courtyard, and as the museum is closed, I’m guaranteed peace and quiet to unwind from the day.
On Tuesday evening I watched hummingbirds feeding on the Strelitzia in the flower bed opposite me, but they are too fast for me to photograph, so I offer instead the flowers they were feeding on…
On Wednesday my quiet moment was disturbed by a large gathering of crows circling above me. Boy they make a racket their noisy “Koww” “Koww” echoed across the silent evening.
When they landed in the big tree on the opposite side of the courtyard I whipped out my camera. Not very good I know but I don’t have a telephoto lens …
Some trivia on crows: According to Dr. Kevin J. McGowan, of the Cornell lab of Ornithology the “poetic” word for a group of crows is “a murder of crows”, but scientists call them a flock of crows.
He also explained that when large numbers of birds congregate into a single group to sleep, it’s known as a “roost” and that crows roost mainly in the fall and winter.
When we walked up the stairs from the parking garage on Wednesday morning we saw a large brown bug at the top of the landing. I thought it was a cricket, carpool buddy thought it was a cockroach. Eeeooowww! whatever it was, I’ve never seen something like that on those stairs before, and didn’t wait to say “hello” or to take a photo.
As I walked across the courtyard that afternoon a security guard called me over to show me this fellow – I’ve never seen anything like it before – I think it’s an albino praying mantis?
Yesterday on my way to work I saw several large swarms of birds (I think they were pigeons but I can’t be sure) flying overhead, or standing in long lines on the telegraph wires, or on roofs of buildings. It seemed as if they were following my car.
I wondered whether the birds were gathering because they were migrating down south, or maybe they knew something was going to happen – an earthquake perhaps – so I asked carpool buddy what he thought the birds were telling us, and he said, “What birds?”
Unfortunately I was driving so I couldn’t photograph them.
At lunch time I read a passage in my book “A Stone in my Pocket” – by Matthew Manera, about the wild passenger pigeons that flew over the town of Port Credit, Ontario on June 23, 1855:
“The width of the flocks stretched from horizon to horizon, and it took almost four hours to pass overhead during which time the sun was blocked from view…..
Farmers encouraged people to hunt the pigeons otherwise they’d feed on their crops…”
According to Wikipedia, the passenger pigeons are now extinct.
There are deer on the hills around the museum, but they’re very shy so in all the years I’ve only seen them a few times, and always from the car.
When carpool buddy and I walked down to our car last night we met a family of deer at the side of the road. They were nervous when they saw us, and hid behind the bushes, but I was able to take a few photos.
I pay attention to signs and coincidences:
Though a coincidence may seem to be an accident, in truth there is no such thing as an accident or random event….. Never ignore coincidences. When a coincidence happens, ask yourself, what does this mean?
– Deepak Chopra, “Power, Freedom and Grace“
What were the birds, bugs, and animals trying to tell me?