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Place of crows

26 January, 2010

two crows sharing a pile of driftwood on a beach

©Tim K Adkins

I didn’t think it was possible to suffer two injuries simultaneously, but it’s clear now that I’ve actually aggravated the old calf tear on the other leg at the same time as acquiring the new one — though it may be a mild case. I had assumed it was just my brain playing tricks on me, but no. Now, I must administer crucifrictions on the left leg too. The good news is that I’ve found four cups of coffee per day seems to offset the lack of exercise, for the time being, and enables me to feel somewhat normal (instead of somewhat January).

Today, I took the time to walk down to Spanish Banks. It was a fantastic day for a walk, and I found an interesting place where many crows come together, the largest gathering I’ve come across outside of the downtown eastside/chinatown/ site of the old maple grove, where thousands roost. There seems to be a huge amount of driftwood washing up on this beach, perhaps from higher up the Fraser river, and many stumps have been dumped on a grassy area extending into the beach. The crows out here are strangely reticent, not that I was trying to make friends, but their behaviour is markedly different from downtown creatures (which can be quite aggressive). This even though they’re probably from the same ‘murder’, judging by the daily migration patterns I’ve witnessed. Perhaps they’ve heard about real estate prices in Point Grey, and the speculative grubbing makes them nervous.

A bit farther east there is a huge number of discarded shells near the location where an archaeological excavation showed that humans had inhabited this area for at least three thousand years. Local creation lore would have it that crow’s big brother Raven created man by pulling him from a seashell. However, in Stanley Park, crows on more than one occasion would seem to have attempted to crack shells open by aiming them at my (shiny, hard-looking) pate. Perhaps they’re trying to tell us something.

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