Friday, October 12, 2012

Mt. Veeder Raven Visit

This week I had the opportunity to go up to Mt. Veeder for two visits.  On Monday afternoon I went up to the The Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind.  It is across and down a little from our former residence on Mt. Veeder.  I was there as part of the Hill and Dale Club to give the camp a $1000 toward operation of the camp.  I had not been to the camp since 1958-60 when I was a Girl Scout.  The camp is on the down hill side of the road and it is quite steep.  As a Girl Scout we would walk with the blind children all around the camp.  There were ropes along the sides of the paths that the blind children would hold on to as they walked with us.  The ropes are still there along the paths.  The director told us that the children don't use them anymore as they are trained to use a walking cane at an early age.  In the late 1950's children were not trained to use the walking canes.  This changed however due to the fact that many men coming back from WW II and Korea were blind.  The men were trained to use the walking canes and were very successful.  After that they began to train children at an early age to use the walking canes.  We also used to roller skate with the children.  Unfortunately the roller rink is in bad repair as is alot of the facility.  The neighborhood is trying to help the camp out with painting parties etc. HOWEVER- Bold and Shy were out and about overhead.  I could hear them calling and see them flying overhead.  They were too far overhead for me to get their attention.  It was great to see them however and to know they are there in their territory.
On Wednesday the Hill and Dale Club went up to the site of the former Lokoya Lodge at the end of Lokoya Road. Lokoya Road comes off Mt. Veeder Rd about .9 miles from our former home.  The Lodge property contains the 2,000 year old sequoia tree that I could see from my kitchen window on Mt. Veeder.  We had a great tour of the property with the current owners and saw many historic photographs.  My family used to go up to the Lodge on Sundays in the 1950's.  It had swimming pools for kids and beer for the adults.  It burned down in 1959.  It was a visit to the long gone past of the Napa that was before the wine culture took over.
The whole time we were visiting the Lodge area there were 6 ravens flying around and making so much racket.  I think they must be juveniles who have banded together.  The property owners don't like them because they said they chase away the other birds.  I had alot of other birds at my Mt. Veeder home as well as the ravens.  The birds will come if there is food available.  It must be a lack of food AND the ravens that cause the dearth of other birds. Well- I enjoyed the presence of the ravens- those cheeky birds!!  I just really like those big purple/black birds!!!
This evening at about 8:30 PM I went outside to admire the evening and I heard a sweet little bird song.  It was coming from the redwood tree by my driveway.  I went over there and listened.  It was a 4 note descending song.  I don't know what bird was singing.  I see white breasted nut hatches in the redwood trees.  Maybe it is one of those.  We had the red breasted nut hatches up on Mt. Veeder.  Both white and red breasted nut hatches like redwood trees.  I sent a note to the Audubon expert asking if they knew what the bird could be.  A little bird mystery right here in suburbia.
Well all in all it was a great RAVEN week with a little bird mystery thrown in- not a bad thing at all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This morning I was out gardening early because it is going to be hot today.  I was working in what will be my Alice In Wonderland garden corner.  Then there started up such a crow racket!  There were 4 crows in the top of the redwood trees cawing at maximum pitch.  I thought it was because of the lack of peanuts in the feeding tray but no, the tray had peanuts.  HUM- then I saw the problem.  A very large hawk with a white breast had settled into the top of a redwood tree.  The crows started diving at the hawk.  I mean they were flying straight at the hawk and only veered off at the last minute.  One after another they did this manuever.  Finally the hawk did a dive right to my bird feeder for the finches and he grabbed one.  I could not believe it.  Wow- he was fast in flight.  He got his prey and took off.  The crow noise then subsided and all was quiet in the garden.  Nature is wonderful and terrible to watch.  It is amazing what one can see in a suburban garden.
Next week I will be going up to Mt. Veeder to visit the ravens, Bold and Shy.  Our Hill and Dale Club is donating $1,000 to the Enchanted Hills camp for the blind.  The camp is located across the way from my former home on Mt. Veeder.  This is Bold and Shy's territory, so a visit with goodies to eat is in store.  I look forward to seeing them in their habitat.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Today was the crow family's lucky day.  I made chicken soup for my daughter's family yesterday since they were under the weather.  I saved all the chicken fat and brought it home for the crows.  So today they had a gourmet meal of chicken fat, peanuts in the shell, left over cat food kibbles and 2 old chicken eggs.  A veritable FEAST for crows.  There were 8 crows at one time trying to get on the platform feeder.  Some had to hang out on the rose arbor and wait their turn.  When they had cleaned up the food most of the crows flew away.  BUT- one crow stayed behind in the big valley oak tree next door.  Chuck and I were sitting under a live oak tree in the backyard having our lunch - hark what did I hear???  A knocking crow.  The ravens on Mt. Veeder knocked and clacked all the time but I had never heard the crow do it like he was doing it today.  He was knocking and clacking and really going to it.  I loved it!!  I kept talking to him- hey Mr. Crow- I like your knocking etc.  I think he likes it when I talk to him.  This is the crow that recognizes me.  The one who looks like he was in a fight since he is missing some feathers.  Maybe all the good food caused him to knock and clack!  How fun it was for me to hear.  I think I will have to get another crow banquet together.  I can see chicken soup in my future- maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baby Crow Forever

I have spent the summer watching the antics of the crow family that visits me on a daily basis.  There is a real difference between ravens and crows with regards to babies.  By now- mid September, the young ravens have left their parents and joined up with a group of young ravens.  The parent birds make sure the "BABY" has left their territory by August.  My friends on Mt. Veeder told me this was a good year for baby ravens.  The mated pairs had 3 to 4 babies this year and as a result there was alot of raven noise heard in the forest this summer.  Several people complained to me about all the racket- imagine- they did not love the sound of baby ravens calling for FOOD and more FOOD!  How I miss the sound!
The crows on the other hand keep their babies around.  The babies are very big by now BUT they still holler for food!  I read that the babies stay around and then help with the next batch of young birds.  BUT- when will that young bird stop trying to get fed???  He is gigantic!!!
My crow friend, the one who recognizes me, must have met up with a bigger bird or a wind machine or something.  He is missing a bunch of feathers around his neck and he looks like he was in a fight.  He is able to fly and pick up peanuts so he is not too damaged.  These days I am running through unsalted peanuts in the shell at a very fast clip.  I put them out each morning for the crows but the scrub jays are faster than white lightning at picking up the peanuts.  So I have to feed all the jays before the crows can get theirs.  It is fun to watch the jays swope and pick up the peanuts. And so it goes in my suburban garden.
I was up on Mt. Veeder yesterday for a very nice luncheon with the Hill and Dale Ladies.  I did not hear one raven the whole afternoon.  I wonder where they were hanging out???  The Stellers jays were making up for the lack of raven racket.  They were so LOUD.  We were eating outside so maybe they wanted part of our lunch.  ON the way down the hill I stopped to pickup a couple of rocks for my garden.  I saw a perfect rock, nice and round, worn down by water- but what was that lying right by the perfect rock?? A rattlesnake!!  I have heard that the rattlesnake population is way up this year.  I wonder why.  We did not have alot of rain this past rainy season.  So I backed off and did not get the perfect rock.  The snake then slithered under an adjacent pile of debris and I thought YOW!!! maybe picking up random rocks is not a good idea.  I could pick one up and there would be Mr. Snake right under the rock.  It has been suggested by my friend Dick that I come up to his property on Mt. Veeder and collect rocks in the creek bed as he has never seen a snake around there.  So I think I will take him up on the offer.  I want to surround a dirt area with rocks and plant California poppy seeds.  The winter rains will be coming around October 15th and so it is time to scatter the seeds for next years flowers.  And so another year of nesting, egg laying, and baby raising ends for my bird friends and my favorite time of year, FALL, will soon begin.  I will travel often up the hill to Mt. Veeder to see the change in color of the big leafed maple trees.  The wheel of time keeps turning for all God's creatures.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Got a camping report from my daughter Lexy.  She arrived at Brighton Beach camp ground near Capitola with the tent trailer in tow.  They parked under a large tree and what do they see?? but a pair of ravens in the tree.  Apparently the ravens did not appreciate their arrival and promptly pooped on them!!! HA HA- ravens get even!!!
It has been very noisy around here in the early morning.  The crow pair has been arriving each morning with at least one very raucous baby.  Chuck says- don't feed those birds so early!!  I have to go outside and tell them to quiet down and to my surprise they actually do.  I yell- QUIET!! enough already, no food for noisy birds!!!  The birds got a real big treat this weekend.  We went to the 25th Anniversary party for the Napa Valley Yacht Club (yes dear ones, Napa has a Yacht Club, a little 1950's frame building on the Napa River, hardly what one thinks of as a Yacht Club, but I digress).  Prime rib was served and after dinner I went around and collected all the nice fat/meat that people did not eat.  I brought it home and have been putting some out each day.  I am a very POPULAR human with the birds right now and now the Yachting people think I am nuts but there it is- I am nuts about CORVIDS!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday Racket

This morning early I was watching Poirot on TV and working on embroidery and what did I hear- very loud RAVEN calls.  I ran outside to see what was going on.  I spotted two ravens in the top of the tallest tree in the neighborhood and they were really making alot of noise.  I also saw three hot air ballons floating by on the breeze.  Then I saw the cause of the racket- three harrier hawks were circling the area above my neighborhood.  I have not seen harriers (march hawks) in my area before.  They are usually found hovering over marshy areas looking for prey.  We are close to Redwood Creek and to the large open space which is across the main street.  This could be why they are in the neighborhood, looking for an unlucky mouse to eat.  The ravens had come from the open space also.  The ravens usually aren't in my neighborhood because it is dominated by a contingent of crows.  After much ado, the visiting birds all flew away to continue their discussion at some other local.  It is interesting to note that not one crow was in sight during all this disturbance.  Those crows are no dummies!  They are very smart birds indeed.  Now- on with the experiment.  I am going to go load up the platform feeder with crow goodies, unsalted peanuts in the shell, meat scraps, black oil sunflower seeds, and one raw egg and THEN wait until they come around and THEN I am going to start playing my bodhran and Scottish music.  This should be fun!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


What a week it has been for Ravens, Crows and Bodhrans!  I went up to Mt. Veeder this week to visit the ravens.  They were out picking around in meadows looking for good things to eat.  Good thing I brought a bag of peanuts with me.  Yum yum- they love unsalted peanuts in the shell.  They are such beautiful birds. I never get tired of watching them.  They are SO much bigger than my crow friends.
The most outrageous thing happened this morning!  I am taking on line lessons on how to play the BODHRAN- the celtic drum, for those who don't know what it is.  I was banging away with the music with my on line Scottish teacher when what did I HEAR???  Yow- it was crows carrying on outside my window.  They were clacking, yelling, screeching and making all kinds of noise!  I have never heard such a racket from crows!  They didn't like my playing because they quit making noise when I ceased banging on my drum.  Hum- they don't appreciate good Scottish tunes!  What am I to make of that?  I am going to try it again tomorrow.  I am going to fill the platform feeder with their favorite foods and THEN I am going to get my bodhran going.  What will happen?? Will they again let me know that they DO NOT like my musical selections?  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Nutcracker

Yesterday I was in Santa Rosa and was sort of half dozing in the car while Chuck was taking his Scottish fiddle lesson.  It was then that I noticed an odd sound.  It was something hitting the ground.  So I looked out the car window to investigate.  A crow was very busy dropping a hard black walnut from the branch of the walnut tree.  He would drop the nut from some height and then fly down to the ground to make sure he arrived just as the nut  hit the road.  It didn't break open, so he would pick it up, sit on the tree limb and drop it again.  He repeated this 5 times while I watched.  On the 5th try, a car came by and ran over the nut and he was rewarded with an open black walnut.  What a clever crow.  It was quite a performance.  I especially liked the way he followed the path of the nut down to the ground so that no other bird could horn in and claim the nut meat.
Today I went to the Quarry Hill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, California. This is a garden started by a women in 1990.  It is on the side of Mt. Veeder and is planted with all asian plants. The plants were grown from seeds collected in Japan and China.  Some are very rare.  We saw a rare dawn redwood, which is a deciduous redwood.  I didn't know there were such trees.  It had the redwood foliage but the leaves were very soft and velvety to the touch, not like our California redwoods which are rough to the touch.  I was the biggest winner of the day BECAUSE I was visited by a very nice raven, found a raven feather, and bought the most at the onsite nursery!  It was a very good raven day!  We then had lunch in Sonoma on the square at the Swiss Hotel.  I love that place and have been going there since I was a child.  Great food, great day!
PS- the moon has been wonderful the last few nights. We came down the mountain on Sunday night and it appeared to follow us down.  It was a lovely sight.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Convivial Evening in the Garden

Tomorrow is suppose to be a very hot day in the Napa Valley.  Last weekend I bought many plants from the California Native Plant Society sale and I thought I better get some of them planted because of the coming heat.  So out into the garden I went in the early evening.  Hark- who showed up but my friend Mr. Crow! Andy the cat and I were busily doing our thing in the garden and Mr. Crow sat up in the redwood tree.  He was busy making clicking and clacking sounds and generallly being nosy, as crows and ravens are wont to do.  It was very pleasant to have a crow in residence.  Mr. Crow would fly down to the platform feeder periodically to pick up a peanut and fly back up into the redwood tree.  We went on like this until the light started to fade.  Then we went inside and Mr. Crow went off to find his crow family.  Nice evening.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Fine Day for Soaring

Yesterday we went to check on our friend's house.  They are off to Baja California.  The house is located on the East side of the Napa Valley, high up on a ridge.  They have a panoramic view that extends from north of Yountville down to the Carneros by the San Pablo Bay.  It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  After checking the house we went outside to check the view.  Hark!!! I heard a raven call.  We looked up and there was a pair of ravens soaring on the thermal air masses.  They were soaring in circles.  They were close by each other with each bird completing a complete circle and then starting over again.  While they were doing these maneuvers, they never once flapped their wings!  When people ask me how can you tell a crow from a raven- that is one thing I tell them- ravens often glide about, crows do not.  Crows have to flap their wings to get places, while ravens can glide with their large wing span.  The display yesterday was beautiful proof of that fact.  Seeing the ravens soaring about made my day!!!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bold and Shy BAD Report

Bold and Shy up on Mt. Veeder have a bad report from our former next door neighbors.  They have been hanging around their property (actually Bold and Shy think that it is their property).  The neighbors put out some straw in the vineyard to keep the weeds down.  The ravens have been down in the straw looking for seeds.  There must be a real shortage of food this winter for them to go after such little seeds.  They have been sitting on the railing of the neighbors studio building and pooping on their decking and sometimes pecking the building.  I wonder if they think someone is in the building and they are trying to get their attention.  They used to hang on the window frames of my home to get my attention and FOOD.  If the food supply is very short this year there may not be any raven babies this spring. I will have to watch and listen for the next several months.  For some this will be a blessing because the babies are really LOUD, but I loved them.
My crow friend is here every day now.  He hangs out in the trees and watches for me in the morning.  Today I put out some chicken trimmings and he was very happy indeed.  I cut it up in crow sized pieces.  I am so accomodating and it is nice to have bird company while I work in the garden. There is nothing like a lively corvid for company.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It appears that I have acquired a crow friend.  Yesterday I was working in the garden in the backyard when I started hearing this odd sound coming from the redwood tree which was over my head.  It was not a repetitious sound, each sound being unique and fairly loud.  I thought maybe it was a squirrel.  We have alot of squirrels that run all over the yard, up in the trees and across the roof.  I could not see into the redwood tree as the branches and leaves are so thick.  Therefore I backed up so that I could get a better perspective on the location of the sounds.  Low and behold!  It was a lone crow.  He was doing what the ravens used to do when they watched me work in the garden.  He would make some clicks and clacking sounds, then wipe each side of his beak on a redwood branch.  Then he would pull on a small redwood branch and break it off and make some more unusual sounds.  I couldn't believe it- the crow is a small sized raven and just as curious and noisy!  He watched me for a very long time.  I finally went inside and got some peanuts for the platform feeder.  This was his treat and a thankyou for keeping me company in the garden.
Since crows are such communal birds, I wonder why this one crow seems to know me and watch me.  Maybe he is the sentinel for his group.  Perhaps he is watching to see if I will bring some food out and then he lets the rest of the group know that dinner is served!  I don't know.  What I do know is that this crow shows up when I go outside to work, he hangs out, and talks to me in fun and unusual sounds.  What a treat for me.  It is nice to have company in the garden while one works away planting seeds and weeding.  I wonder what Mr. Crow will think when I finally get around to planting the FAIRY garden.  I hope to attract a Fairy or two and perhaps Mr. Crow will be able to see them and talk to them also.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Clarion Crow

I have a crow who comes every morning at about 7:30 AM.  I call him the Clarion Crow.  He makes alot of noise to let me know that he has arrived and it ready to EAT!  This crow has a white spot on his tail and on one wing, so he is easily recognized.  Once I have delivered the food to the platform feeder, he lets all his buddies know that chow is available.  The crows like to sit on the top of the green arbor which is near the feeder.  They sit and look and check it out for some time before they fly over and light on the feeder.  I feed them the same foods that the ravens on Mt. Veeder liked.  Raw chicken eggs, left over meat scraps, old crackers, left over cat food, trimmed chicken fat, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts are all food that the ravens liked.  Usually the ravens would go for the meat and fat first.  The crows usually go for the peanuts first.  The ravens and crows have similar behaviors.  I watched a crow try to stuff 3 peanuts in the shell into his bill at once.  A raven could have done it.  The crow tried mightily but could just manage 2 peanuts at a time.  He seemed quite disgusted.  The crows are getting used to me.  I talk to them and they watch me and do not fly off like they use to do when I go outside to join them.  The other day when I was working in the yard the Clarion Crow was up in the redwood tree over my head.  He started clicking and clacking, making sounds very similar to the sounds that ravens make.  The crow sounds are at a higher pitch but clicking and clacking away.  It was so nice to hear that sound.  I don't hear it very often from the crows.  I wonder why? Later that day the stealth raven flew in to grab up a big hunk of chicken fat.  He is still around but wary due such a raucous bunch of crows in the neighborhood.
It has been raining the last couple of days.  This has caused Redwood Creek to start running again.  I love to listen to the creek music- so much like my days on Mt. Veeder.  I am lucky down here- I have large redwood trees and a creek nearby- it is not so bad living in the valley when I think about it.  There are benefits, close to grocery stores and NO wood moving and the Clarion Crow.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Visiting the Ravens of Mt. Veeder

Yesterday I visited the ravens of Mt. Veeder where I used to live.  It was the first time that I had been to the property since we left, 1.5 years ago.  I just couldn't go before.  It was too sad.  But yesterday was great and the raven pair were there making lots of racket, just for me.  We had a great time, yelling back and forth at each other.  They probably wondered where the eggs were.  My good friend's property is contiguous with our former property, so from their vantage point I could see where I used to live.  It looked fine and well cared for which was such a relief.  When we sold our former home in Concord, the new owners trashed the place and I can't even go down that street anymore.  It is too sad to see what has happened to a property that used to be so lovely.  Any way- I was happy to see Bold and Shy and I think that they were happy to see me, even without the eggs.  Next time I will take eggs and put them in a special place along the road where they can retreive them.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Well what can I say- I have attracted a crow pair with my daily egg.  The stealth raven comes once in awhile but I never know when he will come and so I don't get to see him pick up the whole egg and fly off.  BUT- there is this one crow who seems to think that I am OK and now he has a buddy that comes with him.  Of course I don't know if they are male or female since all of them are all black, so I will say he for now.  I have been talking to this one crow for some time now.  He comes in the morning and crows from the top of the oak tree next door.  So when I hear him, I have been going out and putting some peanuts and an egg in the platform feeder.  He sees this food appear and now he knows from whence it comes.  Now there are 2 crows that come at about 7 AM each morning and sit on top of the arbor which is near the platform.  They look quite good sitting up there, very majestic.  So now it is me and two crows instead of two ravens.  Well they are cousins and seem just as smart and wily as ravens.  Maybe more so since crows seem to be almost universally disliked except by me, bird lovers, and goths.  So now I am putting food out in the evening so there is something there for them in the morning.  I cannot put out peanuts in the evening because their smaller cousins, the blue jays, will scarf them all up before the crows arrive.  So it goes in nature.  You never know who will be your friend, sort of like Facebook- who are those friends anyway who show up???  I can now make a project out of determining what crows really like to eat.  This will be fun.  When I had my raven pair that visited me up on Mt. Veeder, I discovered that I had very little waste food.  They liked things like chicken fat and left over cat food that I normally would throw away.  I say it is a form of recycling- feed the birds instead of the garbage can!  So onward with the crow pair with occasional visits from the stealth raven!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Cottage on Mt. Veeder in RAVEN Territory

We finally got to go up to Mt. Veeder to look at the cottage that is near our former home and raven pair.  What a disappointment.  I was so disappointed.  This cottage is in very bad condition.  I can honestly say it had no redeeming features except for the location on Mt. Veeder and the very nice view of the hills.  This cottage sold for more than $550,000 in 2007.  The person who made this loan should be ashamed- it is scandalous actually. The persons involved in this sale, the realtors, the banks, the mortgage companies all made money on this deal but there is no value there.  Deals like this times many thousands of similar deals and I can certainly see why there is a real estate collapse right now.
The cottage is now a short sale.  The asking price is $299,000.  The person who owns it is way under water.  It is not worth $299,000, maybe $100,000.  Everything would have to be redone, the foundation is iffy, the floor slopes this way and that, there is junk everywhere,- needs a dumpster right now.  Anyhow I was BUMMED out by what I saw. I honestly was very upset by what I saw.  So that is the end of that dream.  It would take so much energy and money to try and get that place in some kind of order that it would not be worth it.  Good luck to someone with lots of time, money and energy.
This week we were up in Mendocino to take in the Pacific Ocean.  The weather was nice but the best part was all the RAVENS!  There were ravens everywhere, flying here and there and doing acrobatics in the air.  I had a great time watching them.  They were floating over the ocean on the thermals.  It was great to see.  I had a conversation with a few ravens who were sitting on water tower perches.  They clicked and clacked back at me.  Always fun and a joy.  The economy has hit Mendocino ( or Spendocino as it was known in the good old high rolling money days).  Alot of the cute stores were closed up for good.  Too bad.  The cute needlework shop was gone.  Ah well- RAVENS are better than stores any day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Raven Wanderings

Since the Stealth Raven only comes by once in awhile- I have taken to the road to look at ravens.  We go over to Sonoma County quite often and as we drive I look for ravens.  I was well rewarded the other day.  I saw two groups of ravens having fun.  They were flying, diving, and rolling over in flight.  It was so great to see their flying abilities!  Yes- RAVENS just like to have fun!  Several days later we were in Concord at the parents mobile home park.  I got out of the car and hark! what did I hear but a raven call.  I looked up in the sky and a raven pair were chasing a red tailed hawk.  The hawk must have ventured too near their food source or too close to their nesting area.  This is an urban area but there is a hillside there with large areas of open grasslands.  Perfect for ravens and hawks.
I have been enjoying my crows.  One particular crow is not afraid of me.  He comes around and sits in the tree and makes racket.  If I hear him, I go out with some peanuts.  He has me trained.  He then calls to his crow buddies to come and get them!  The problem is- the blue jays are faster than a speeding bullet.  I swear they have a sentinel posted at all times who watches for me to appear with peanuts.  They immediately beginning swooping in and picking up the peanuts.  By the time the crows have assembled- the peanuts are about gone.  I then have to go and put some more out so that the crows get some.  They are much more cautious than blue jays.  I wonder if it is because they have been chased/harrassed so much by humans for so many years.  I watched a crow tried to stuff 2 peanuts in his beak.  A raven could do it but his smaller cousin just can't quite manage it, but he tried for quite awhile.  Then he gave up- ate one and flew off with the other one.
A friend sent me a very funny video from Russian of a crow using a jar top as a sled.  He would carry the top up to the peak of the snow covered roof, get on the top and then slide down the roof top.  He did it several times.  From this I deduce that CROWS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN- YEA!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


2012 is lining up to be a good one for ravens.  How do I know???  This morning while at church service, I looked out the big glass window and what did I see???  A nice big raven sitting on top of a big wooden cross in the church garden.  He had a big treat of some kind that he was working at eating.  So I spent most of the service watching the raven until he flew away.  I say time well spent on January 1st.  This afternoon we walked the open space.  I was hoping to see the ravens that live near the creek but had no luck.  So I came home to rake leaves in the backyard.  While I was at this never ending task- hark what did I hear but a raven talking at me from overhead.  He was in the redwood tree.  The tree is so thick and the foliage so dark that I could not locate him.  So I came inside so he could come down and collect an egg from the platform feeder.  Ah what a sight- a raven picking up a chicken egg and flying off with it.  So what a happy raven New Year for me!!
We found a one bedroom/one bath cottage for sale on Mt. Veeder Rd. not far from our former home and really close to our good friends who like ravens and cats and chickens too.  I emailed our realtor to let her know we wanted to look at it.  Unfortunately she is in Hawaii until January 9th.  We will wait for her return and then go take a look.  What a crazy idea this is!  But I can think of all sorts of positives too.  Hey who says you can't have a country place 8 miles up the road from your suburban home???  AND- I know there are resident ravens that would be happy to meet me!!  The home was sold at the top of the market in 2007 and has gone into foreclosure- it is now a short sale.  The realtor told me short sales are a crazy proposition and a wild ride but--- it could be fun!  Anyway- it is worth a look around and a visit up to Mt. Veeder.