Monday, July 12, 2010

Something to Crow About

Another perfect summer morning where I live.  We're having morning coffee outside on our screened patio, and the wrens and our resident cardinal are singing and the crows are cawing.  Some mornings the crows must hold conventions nearby us, because there's literally a cawing frenzy going on.

After listening to all this chirping going on around me, I couldn't help but Google crows and found out some cool things about them that I didn't realize before:
  • A group of crows is called a "murder."
  • Crows are found on every continent except Antartica.
  • Crows have an exceptional ability to remember and pick a single human face out of a crowd.
  • Each generation of crows is capable of building on an earlier generation's knowledge.
  • New Caledonian crows are one of only three species, besides human, in the world capable of making tools.
  • Crows live with a mated pair, their kids, and offspring from previous years in an extended family.
  • Crows have different warning calls--one for cats, one for hawks, and another for humans--250 in all.
  • Crows are omnivores and eat fruits, vegetables, and meat.
Several old sayings we use routinely without even thinking about it involve the crow.  Like referring to a crabby old woman as an "old crow."  A disgusting person as "crow bait."  We reference distance by "as the crow flies" when we measure by a direct line rather than take an established roadway.  "Eating crow" when we've made a mistake and have to take our words back.

There's the Crow Tribal Nation out in Montana.  I read that each year they celebrate Crow Native Days.  Part of the event is a pretty grueling Warrior Challenge, which is a race made up of three members.  The three have a specialty in this three-part race (canoeing, running, and relay horse racing).  The Warriors compete in all these races, kinda like the decathalon of the Olympics.  The only difference is the race starts and ends the same day.   Lots of other events take place during these Native Days that help instill and maintain pride in the Crow culture and its historical importance.  The dates of this celebration correspond with the anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in June. I think this would be cool to attend.  My heart has a very special place for the Native American people.  I often think about them having walked on the ground that I walk on every day and like always, wonder what remnants of the past are buried beneath my feet just waiting to be unearthed.

Well, it's about time I finish up my blog, and it may as well be with a crow joke.  So, here it is....

Two crows were sitting on a plow handle.  Suddenly they spotted a sandwich in the field.  They flew down and were delighted to find that it was Baloney!  They gorged themselves and flew back to the plow for a snooze.  Unfortunately, they were quickly awakened by a gunshot as the farmer tried to scare away the crows in his cornfield.  Our two friends tried to join the rest of the flock, but sadly they fell to the ground.

The moral of this story is, "Don't fly off the handle when you're full of baloney."