The crows come back

peanuts-roasted-in-shell-saltyIt’s the true first day of autumn.

I know this because the first wave of migrant crows came by my house in a gang today, hooting like teenagers, chasing around the neighborhood, celebrating the fresh clean cool dry air of autumn.

I got a ziploc full of roasted salted peanuts in the shell and went outside to hoot back. Here they came, three, four, fivesixseveneight, parking in the top of the towering elm tree across the street. I tossed down some peanuts, laughing at them, making kiss-me crow noises (a kind of low whiny-baby grizzle).

They weren’t interested in the peanuts. They wanted to play copycat. We cawed back and forth at each other. They were too excited to do it one at a time, so if two cawed at once, in different pitches, I copied one, then the other.

This lasted until one of them, perched higher than the others, spotted something in the distance and took off bat-outa-hell, yelling. The rest followed.

Believe it or not, this made my day. Nothing can go too wrong after the crows stop by to say, “Hi, we’re back, yay autumn!”

As I write this I can hear them out there, a few blocks away, yodeling like kids visiting a favorite playground after long absence.

How do you know when it’s the true first day of autumn?



The crows come back — 6 Comments

  1. Being a city gal who lives in southern California (crows year-round and no maples to flame up) I go by what’s in the local market. Crisp new apples (Jonathans in my youth but now leaning toward Honeycrisp since it is the crispness of the apple that signifies). Pomegranates (the juice is nice, but for Fall of the Leaf, it needs to be the whole seedful thing). And Concord grapes (which have been damn hard to find, but last year I found Thomcord grapes, which have pretty close to the right flavor with no seeds).

  2. Around here (in the ‘State of Jefferson’ in southwestern Oregon) for me the imminent arrival of Autumn is signaled when the Buzzards gather in loose, floppy wads, circle ’round for awhile and then head off south over the Siskiyou mountains for their winter stay-over in Mexico.

  3. On Mt Hood it’s the opening of the blinds in the office to discover the sun has moved far enough south that I don’t need to block out the blinding rays on sunny days. And the cat came back in after 30 seconds on the deck because his tootsies got cold.

  4. Hmm, we have our talkative crows all year long in our temperate Pacific Northwest. And autumn comes with flaming red vine maples — if they survive the variable beginning of our long, rainy, gray slog that turns all the crispy fallen leaves into brown mush…. This year, the cold rains have come early. *sigh* I wish we could share some of our wet wealth with California and other wildfire areas.

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