Golden Mean

Yesterday, my head was buried in decision making when I heard the call. Sitting in my sunroom, I can look over the northeast of the city, and even  more of the sky. This day the sky was bright blue, trimmed with thin cloud lace. I heard it again.

Where? Through my window I could see four crows swirling in the universal spiral direction. I know those crows. They are neighbors. But there was something else.

I stepped outside. Right above the house, hidden by the limited perspective of the window frame, were four other birds. Four other birds also swirling in a universal spiral. I squinted. Then my eyes widened. My mouth opened. My brain opened. The fist in my stomach opened. I looked from crows to birds above. No way. Yes way, as I heard the call again.

Four hawks. Four crows. Spinning next to each other. It could only mean one thing. It was obvious.

In my head I heard “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dyin day.” It was “West Side Story” of the sky, people! Crows vs. Hawks!

Actually, it all felt quite sacred, even after my penchant for cheeseball stepped in. I watched for a while, as the crows peeled off one by one and the hawks spiraled higher and higher. Then they too let the trajectory of their curves extend to different corners of the sky.

This is what I’m still feeling from what was a weekend of mixed experience. This story and these pictures pretty much sum up my state of things right now. (Thanks to Charley over at Country Fried for turning me on to Jessica Tremp).

This one wasn't taken by Tremp, but I found it on her blog.


Hello Monday, I love you.

(Late morning edit to say: The day got off to a pretty miserable start after I learned this news. I moved about with shattered hope for our relationship with nature, focusing into Fern as at least one place where effort isn’t tossed into a black hole.

Then, we went to the back deck to gather some pots, and zzzzzzzzzzip brrrzzzzzzzz down flew the hummer from the garden next door. Two feet from us, Fern reaching out with squeals, and it actually came closer. Up, down, all around us. Then it went to the remainders of grandmother spider’s web from last summer. Snip. Snip. Snip. Collecting strands for its nest. Joyous!!!

Then. THEN. (Yes, there’s more!) I was a block away, transplanting into the aforementioned pots some nettles I found in a treewell. Above my head I heard the neighborhood crows and thought “Something is wrong”. Looking up, I saw three crows dive bombing two hawks (Cooper or Sharp Shinned). Around and around above my head they soared.

So Monday, I was actually kinda kidding before. But now I mean it. I love you. For reals.)


19 thoughts on “Golden Mean

  1. i love this – i love that certain something that happens when you experience these sightings – i’ve been mesmerized by a cooper’s hawk that has been visitng my backyard the last few days (and i know that ‘cuz i looked it up, thanks mary :)and we have tons of bad ass ravens the size of barnyard cats that always give me a thrill. now if i could just make friends with a coyote…..

  2. oh. perfect. i love the birds. love how you listen. and look.

    and share. and search. those photos made me happy. something fresh in my internet experience this morning. thanks….

      1. you are so lucky…you have hummers year round there?? i just read the article you linked to a while ago on following your dreams on the herbal website. it was so good.

  3. why yes i do know charlie – our buddy lexi shared it with me because i told her this story – my partner and i were driving in joshua tree and i saw a coyote in the far distance – i said stop the car now, i jumped out of the car and started running full speed towards the coyote and her towards me – to this day don’t what possessed me – just overwhelmed with a sense of urgency like i knew her – my partner yelled at me to “get back into the car, don’t you know that’s a wild animal!!!” reluctantly i did. she circled the car three times and them came to my side and stood on her hind legs and put both paws on my window and stared right into my eyes. wow moment. she even stood next to the car and looked back at me before she trotted off. i was able to take her picture, it’s in my FB photos. i think what i love most about it is that the photo shows her full shadow.

    1. woah gianna, that is AMAZING. i would love to hear more sometime, your thoughts and intuits around whowhatwhy. thank you for telling me this story…my heart feels really really happy after reading it.

      btw, do you have, or have you read “buffalo girls won’t you come out tonight” ? all about coyote woman and a little girl, plus other animal people. i would like to loan it to you if you haven’t read it. (it’s a quick read). seems like it was written for you!

  4. Crows usually win in a Crows vs. Hawks grudge match. BTW, there are barn owls living, or at least roosting, in the bell tower of Mission High School. Was walking by at night the other day and heard raspy screeches and what sounded like babies begging (large babies). Then i saw the bird and thought, “it’s night’ these can’t be peregrines.” The wingspan, too, was not large enough for a peregrine. Then I saw one fly over Dolores Park and even with the ambient light of the tennis courts, it was that ‘owl-with-wings-against-the-stars’ moment. Pretty cool!

    1. ha ha, so true about the crows vs. hawks. i love it. and that is so rad about the owls…you must have been so thrilled knowing it was night time and that it could only be one thing. what a gift!

  5. Ok I have a story too… me next, me next!!

    I took Kate to her little dance class every Tuesday night for the longest time. One season there was a barn owl that would sit precariously on a random metal fence part on a hill near our house. Every Tuesday night she sat there, waiting for us to come home and stop, roll down our windows and talk to her. She always turned to look at us. Kate still asks about the owl and we make up stories about where she might be now.

    1. aw, that is a sweet story! and you’ve been holding out on me lady…all wonderful wildlife encounters involving you and your family are to be reported to me, STAT.

    2. GET OUTTA HERE- I am so serious right now. On the way to dance TONIGHT just NOW a barn owl was flying low gliding next to our car ( well a little ahead of us) and slow enough for us to stop and watch her. I almost died right there. Kate asked if that was our owl.

      Of course it is.

      1. woo hoo! what beautiful, magical synchronicity! i love it!!!! that is so doubly sweet that kate “got it” right then and there and asked if it was your owl. i’m curious if it was near where you used to see the other one? wow, the whole thing makes me so happy. good reporting!! love to both of you. xoxox

    3. Yes it was at the same hill. But it’s seriously been two years since we had seen one there. Isn’t that crazy? I couldn’t believe it was there after telling you about it. I almost called Jeff so I could tell you about it right then and there!!

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