Monday, March 23, 2009

Crows & Worms; must be Spring

So while it continues to be cold here, it must not be *that* cold, as everything's finally budding out, although more than a month late. The weather's settled into its usual Spring pattern of stratocumulus (big puffy clouds usually obscuring the whole sky) with cumulonimbus moving through, dumping rain or hail for 5 minutes, then the next one lines up to come through (I picked up The Cloudspotter's Guide on a whim in the sale items at Powell's, and it's great. But I like knowing the names and behaviors of things). No lightning though, ah well.

The other night when I was walking home from the gym (ok, so 45F is really not that cold. It's all relative, though), it was a worm-basking night. It hasn't really been raining THAT hard, and the ground can't be saturated, so it's not all drowned worms. I don't know why, but on these nights the worms come out of the grass & dirt and moonbathe on the sidewalks. Seriously, these enormous nightcrawlers will be extended 5 or 6 inches onto the sidewalk from the lawn. If you startle them by stepping too near, they immediately pull back into their holes.

Every night I see this it reminds me of this time I went collecting nightcrawlers for fishing with my Grandma. She lived in Utah and their yard was watered once a week via an irrigation ditch system -- it would flood the whole yard. The night after this happened we went down to the ditch (maybe 2 feet deep?) into the mud with a flashlight. The key was to shine the flashlight on the muddy sides and snatch the worms out before they could retract into their holes.

Also, the crows are building nests. I know this because every Spring they go looking for nest-building sticks, and we have this big dogwood out front which is a Prime Target in Crowdom. They'll fly into the tree, perch on a branch, and then latch their beaks onto a branch and work at it until they've ripped it off. Then they fly away who knows where. Nature's Pruning is what K the love monkey calls it. I would be less annoyed if it didn't leave small branches littered all over the lawn. Actually, I'd be less annoyed if I didn't have a lawn, really, but I haven't remedied that yet.

Who needs a big hibiscus blossom? I certainly do.

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