Saturday, January 6, 2018

Just Some More Stuff

With my little bit of extra time now, thanks to Johnny, I'm catching up on reading, things, books, I had planned for quite some time. While I was knocking off a book every three to five days before the run up to online booking the next book took 4.5 months to read. After multiple encounters and a long running winter battle with a sharp-shinned hawk someone recommended I read "H is for Hawk". About a lady determined to train a hawk, but the only book she can find about training a hawk is from a guy a century before who was a pedophile, did most all training of his hawk wrong, and mentioned his fascination with children. Well that's how I remember it. Despite all that it was a very, very, good book.
A few days ago when Jax and I got ready to go on our hike I called him and heard someone else call him also. I looked over on the garage where the voice came from and there was a raven looking the other way. I'm absolutely certain it was the raven that spoke. When they fly overhead or follow us around I call to them "raven, raven". I want to be able to be out hiking with guests some day and have them talk to us. To look up in the sky as they follow us and say "Who are you?" and they answer "raven, raven." They're just looking for trouble so I should learn as much as I can. I've learned much already. They can mimic other birds, they kill other birds babies and rub their deaths in deeply in front of the parents, they are territorial to their nest with young. They can dive at you, throw gravel on you (they're all right handed), and flying in with speed push larger rocks than you would think possible down into the canyon at you. I stood on the back porch once when six of them were out on the rocks watching me. I stared down at the sheep pen and then looked back over and they were all looking where I had been looking. One of them flew down to check out what I was looking at.

They killed my frienemy. The sharp-shinned who I battled a whole winter and then we came to an agreement and he became my friend. They killed him and planted some of his feather around the body standing up in the dirt. Maybe a tribute to their enemy or the battle just fought. They eat their enemies and their young. When I was out with Ivan the Terrible learning to track a few years ago they would fly ahead and then come back, then fly ahead again. I believe they were leading us to a possible kill so they could have the carcass. They speak bird, they speak English, at least here. They know how to say Jax.

Some say a crow has three pinion feathers and a raven four. Others say the crow has four pinion feathers and the raven five. It's a matter of a pinion. A gathering of crows is a murder of crows, a gathering, like I have of ravens some mornings, is a conspiracy of ravens.

I've bought two books from the guy that seems to have the most real world experience with them. I've moved them to the top of the reading list and while I'm reading them, I'll be going out to search for ravens. Just Jax and I, a conspiracy of man and man's best friend.

I suppose I should mention that Michelle called and said she'd be in Friday to pick Jax up and take him to Colorado where she's going to take a month or so off working to read and write where it's really quiet. I ask if she'd like me to meet her at I-70 and the Moab turnoff of 191 to hand off Jax. She said she'd rather do it here. That way she can read and write where it's quiet, hang out with Jax, but I can still take him out exploring every day which is the life he loves. Last night Michelle moved in next door at Last Hurrah so Jax and I are still hiking buddies for awhile and if we're going to match wits with the smartest bird alive we'll have to both be crazy and Jax has a huge head start on that. Sometimes it just works out like it's suppose to.

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