Sunday, November 23, 2014

Timing

We got lots and lots of rain over the past few days. The weather report promised and delivered. I think we are above average for this time of the year, which really helps given the parched drought conditions we have been in. The meteorologists always have to warn that just because we've gotten a bit of rain doesn't mean the three-year drought is over, lest some people erroneously think a few inches means water restrictions will end. Nope. Not yet.

Once the rain passes, we head out for some good long walks in the neighborhood. All the grasses have turned back to their beautiful greens, and the birds are busy looking for food in the new shoots.
We did get to see these two crows preening on the high voltage post. I thought at first it was a pair of ravens, but after downloading the pics, not so much.
The one on the right was so patient, preening and preening, while the one on the left seemed a bit put off by all the attention. We hadn't seen these birds interact with each other quite like this, so we took a while watching them.
We were pleasantly surprised when the one on the left decided to return the favor and preen his/her friend. It was a lovely gesture. I said to Roger, "Isn't it great to be out to watch these two? Such good timing." (Just discovered that this behavior for Corvids is called allopreening. It's a way of strengthening the bonds of a mated pair.)

Then we walked on and came to the little goat-pig-cow-turkey-chicken farm. I noticed that the little piggy was no longer in the pen. It was a friendly little thing, always coming grunting over to us when we walked by, maybe looking for a little food or a bit of a scratch behind the ears. Oh well, it is Thanksgiving season, I suppose someone may be having some piggy for dinner. Then, we rounded the corner just in time to see a large turkey being held by its feet, upside down ready to be slaughtered. Our eyes met. I bolted and ran ahead with my hands over my ears. I didn't want to hear a sound, and I didn't.

Damn, timing is everything.

11 comments:

  1. I've been noticing pairs of crows behaving this way lately, figured it was related to mating.
    Haven't witnessed turkey slaughtering... not so great if one is vegetarian...

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  2. I'm aware of how most of my meat reaches the table, but I don't like to think about it. Slaughter at a small farm is probably more humane than the way it's done at factory farms.

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  3. isabelita and Mark-- I gave up eating red meat 44 years ago. I stopped eating fish and poultry then, but about ten years later reintroduced only chicken and tuna. I haven't eaten much flesh over the years. No turkey or beef at all. My philosophy has pretty much been that I would eat it if I think I could in good conscience actually kill it with my own hands. Lately, I've been wondering if I could kill a chicken. I think I'd have to be very very hungry.

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  4. Cool about the crows. Affection is always nice to witness.
    I like your standard about not wanting to kill your food with your own hands being your governing force. Sadly we have become so immune with Styrofoam packaging that we forget they once lived. I am closer to being meatless, not quite yet. I could not have watched the slaughter either..

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  5. Patti-- We really enjoyed watching those crows. They took their time. I really like knowing that you are working on your diet and being more meatless. If everyone would do that, fewer animals would have to live miserable lives.

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  6. What a treat to see the preening crows. You are right. Often it's all about timing.

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  7. NCmountainwoman-- I often think of the lines from a Beatle song, "Had it been another day, I might I have looked the other way..."

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  8. don't know that I've ever observed crows preening. that's the joy of slowing down, I think. Seeing this things. Of course, I would have done as you did when seeing the turkey. Not a pretty sight, nor sound. And yet, I've got my organic free range turkey thawing and aging for the grill tomorrow.

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  9. Tara-- We loved watching these two. They were very patient with each other. I think everyone who eats turkey should watch a bird being slaughtered. I also feel that way about any and all meat. The removal of that intimate sight and moment lets meat eating go on with no sense of what it takes to bring it to the table.

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  10. Crows are very smart and extremely social. We have hundreds of them around here. If kept as a pet, they will also talk like a parrot.

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  11. Pat-- We love watching crows and ravens. And luckily for us, there's plenty of them around here too. Such smart creatures.

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