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.