Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Library Raven

I can't believe it.  I went downtown Napa to the library today to return two books.  I drove into the drive through drop off and what do I see???  A big raven sitting by the slot where the books are returned!!!  The bird was right outside my window looking in at me.  It was weird, strange and wonderful! He then took flight and I got a good view of his beautiful tail.  I have often seen a pair of ravens flying over the downtown area.  There is alot of food left around down there so that must attract them.  I wish they would come to my little yard- I would feed them really good!  I am anxious for my backyard to be completed so that I can get my bird feeding stations back in order.  The grass has been removed, the walking paths are in, the sprinklers are going in, the top soil is here- all is going.  No more thirsty grass in a California garden.  The strange thing is- it has been raining for days and hailing- in May!!  I remember my school days in Napa in May.  It was always so darn HOT!  Today is English weather and we had the fire on last night to warm our tootsies.  What is with THAT??  Ah well- soon enough I will be back to my program of attracting a raven or two.  I know they are out there, I see them flying high above. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Looking for Ravens in all the Right Places

At the present time my backyard is all torn up. This means the platform feeder containing the eggs for potential raven visitors is all torn up!  We are having the grass ripped out.  The front yard was ripped out last summer and has since been planted with drought tolerant plants and native wildflowers.  After living in the forest for the last 16 years, I got used to no lawn and no lawn MOWING!  Lawns are beautiful but are water hogs.  Lawns had to go.  The backyard will soon be a series of paths with raised beds here and there.  There will also be a fairy dell under the branching oak tree.  What could be better?  I have not been able to put eggs out for the ravens since all this upheaval started.  This necessitated serious action!  I had to go out into the countryside and look for ravens and hear some raven calls!
We made several trips to Sonoma County in the last week.  The hills are so green, the vineyards look great and the roses this year are spectacular.  During these trips I look for ravens and I am often rewarded with seeing pairs of ravens soaring, gliding, rolling and generally having a good time in the sky.  I do love to hear their calls, which are music to my ears.  Yesterday my daughter and I took a walk in the open space near our home.  It was a great day.  We walked to the top of the hill and had a great view of Napa valley from our vantage point.  I saw a lone raven soaring and gliding.  I called to him, RAVEN, he turned and flew toward us and then a red winged black bird started chasing after him.  The raven flew away with the small black bird trailing after him.  I was sad to see him go.  The black bird was probably protecting his nest and such is nature.
 The crow pair are still here.  I put out peanuts for them every morning and they know me.  They watch for me to come out each morning and then they start crowing.  If they could I am sure they would crow- PEANUTS!  They are having a lot of competition for the peanuts from the bad squirrels. I call them bad as they are breaking up all my clay pots and glass ornaments in the yard.  I am getting pretty mad at those rodents!!!  They also bury items in my potted plants and then walnut trees start to spout.  Chuck finally found a squirrel proof birdfeeder.  I delight in seeing those squirrels try to figure out how to get into the feeder.  They are VERY persistent.  So while I don't have a resident pair of ravens right now, I do have entertainment of the nature kind!