Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crow Offerings

I'm taking a 30 minute break from cutting the grass in the back yard.  Geez - it got tall over 2 weeks thanks to the rain we've had for the past several days (off and on, hit or miss but enough, enough -- for now...).  I didn't have to cut last week; despite my own watering (especially the trees and my perennials), the grass wasn't growing much. 

Two weeks ago when I cut I found the headless torso of a small baby doll -- plunked down right next to one of the clear glass flat dishes I put out to supplement the water supply for my critters during the drought.  I didn't keep it -- it freaked me out, actually!  I knew it had to have been deposited by a crow.  They leave interesting things behind all the time.  After finding two more items today, I have decided to start a collection of "Crow Offerings:"

Photos taken of the objects where I set them down on my plastic patio table:

As you can see, the offerings I found today are a bone with a lot of the marriow eaten out, and a gold-colored bangle bracelet with topaz-colored stones (one stone is missing), a little bit bent out of shape but otherwise in good condition.  I don't know what kind of metal it is made out of, but it is weighty.  I did not see any markings on it of any kind.  It does not fit over my hand, I think it must have been designed for a child.

I don't know what the bone might be from.  Shape-wise, it sort of reminds me of the bones that are found in pork-hocks that my dad loved, Bless his Soul, and were served in the house at least twice a month while I was growing up.  I don't remember them being this "long," though.  But the shape is similar. 

I found the bone next to the concrete birthbath under which my doggy Spencer's ashes are buried (March, 1999).  It wasn't there a few days ago when I gave that bird bath a good scrub, I would have seen it.  The bangle bracelet I found next to the glass pie plate I have filled with water, resting on the ground near the back fence.  It wasn't there a few days ago when I last cleaned that dish out and put fresh water in it.  It caught my eye as I was shoving the mower close to those glass dishes.  I didn't stop mowing, just bent over and picked it up and stuffed in in a pocket.

How do I know these were left behind by crows?  Well, they don't visit like they used to (I think the trees have gotten too big and thick for their liking), but during this drought, they have been coming for the water in the bird baths and the extra dishes I put out.  They often (but not always) announce their presence because the scout will signal out a call of "all clear" and then more of the flock members will come.  So, since they are visiting again, I have been tossing out peanuts and nutty-bread for them.  Crows always return the favor -- they understand quid pro quo very well.  I have been feeding them for 21 years now, and know their ways. 

Pretty neat "treasures", heh?  What do you think - should I clean them off or leave them as they are?  Not sure how I'm going to display them either!  I guess that depends on what other crow offerings I find in the future.

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