Today I went on a walk and got to see some interesting critters. Then I got home and hung out with another one.
On my walk to run errands, I met three free range chickens. According to their sign, the are Froggy, Zen and Wolfie. They have a lovely chicken coop and yard, but love to explore. As I knelt down to take their picture, they came right up to say hello! A woman was walking by with her baby, and it appeared they were all old friends. The chickens clucked their way over and the baby laughed like crazy.
Further along, I saw a sad sight….a beautiful old tree had blown down in the wind. It missed all the cars on the street, which was something of an automotive guardian angel miracle. Looking at the trunk, I saw that the whole inside of the tree was dry and rotten, with what looks like termite damage. The tree had probably been dead for years, just waiting to be knocked down.
As I was looking, these two sweet corgis came by, saying hello to me but clearly upset at the loss of a fine peeing tree.
After walking about three miles, all my errands were done: dry cleaner, banking, doctor appointment, and shopping. I got home, chilly and tired, and sat in front of our lovely fireplace. Mousekin is loving it, as well. Second only to Grandpa Nelson’s lap, the hearth is her favorite place to be.
For such a big city, Portland has a large animal population.
We see this when the ‘dog parade’ heads from the neighborhoods to Laurelhurst Park for their evening walk. Cats greet us from sunny porches as we pass, and chickens talk amongst themselves when we go by Sunnyside School.
The squirrels, of course, have the best commutes ever, up trees and across power lines, chittering at everyone who will listen, but freezing on tree trunks to become invisible.
But by far the most vocal and numerous animals are the crows. Unlike their more reclusive cousins the ravens, crows thrive in close proximity with humans, and some even enjoy our company. And it’s not just people in general; studies show that crows remember certain humans, reacting positively to those who feed them and negatively to those they see as a threat.
There is a lady who walks every day in Lone Fir Cemetery, bringing a large bag of dry cat food, just to feed the crows. She loves their attentions, and they love her, too! She is like the crow’s queen.
The art in Portland reflects this affection (some might even say a fixation) with crows. This painting greeted us last week at The Artbar downtown.
And Laurelhurst hosts a fair few of the feathered fellows, as well.
I like having all these living critters in the neighborhood. Since I have fewer small people to talk with, crows and cats can be good conversation. Also, learning how critters get by and help the area (eating all that fallen fruit, for example) lets me see the neighborhood as an ecosystem rather than just a bunch of houses.