Sunday, December 02, 2007

Signs that might be omens

Just after leaving the house, I spied a large kettle of vultures. Maybe someone had left a dead calf again. You know, in that place just down the road where old sofas go to die? But the Purifying Ones streamed out on high before I reached them.

I had a passenger when I spotted the biggest gathering of crows I'd ever seen in my life. Fifty at least, I'm sure, and what in the world were they doing downtown? But once we cleared the next building they were nowhere in sight, leaving me the only witness to the murder.

On the way home I drove towards a sun dog, so bright that it fooled me, until I noticed the other sun.

Back at base, with atmospheric optics too low to photograph, I was on my way to consult some sacred chickens about some eggs. A wedge of Canada Geese flew directly overhead. Not uncommon at this time of year, but combined with the other events of the day, I had a feeling I was going to get bombed from above. Didn't happen though.

Lucky me.



Nifty vulture facts.

Roman superstitions.

Collective animal words.


karl said...

was that a murder of crows?

Rurality said...


mon@rch said...

This time of the crows can get into some large numbers! I always seem to see large numbers of Goose!

Rurality said...

Tom, it was so odd - I'd never noticed crows in groups that large here before. Groups of a dozen, yeah, but this was dozens and dozens. And downtown!

lesle said...

It possibly was more than one murder. For whatever reason, sometimes murders gather in the same proximity and caw at each other, or at least that appears to be what's going on, who really knows. The sessions I've seen (and heard!) lasted about half-an-hour or so, and usually happened about the same time every mid-afternoon.

I've never seen more than two murders do this, but fifty or so crows together is a lot.

Annie in Austin said...

What nice, spooky, early December images, Rurality, reminding us that not all birds are the little cute ones.

We used to get the murders-of-crow standoffs in our former Illinois suburb - there would be two main groups flying around making an incredible racket, while 'outriders' from one group darted over to the other group, sort of taunting them. It would stop as suddenly as it started.

Down here we don't see crows, but 3 vultures flew overhead while we were sitting at the patio table... probably trolling for roadkill squirrels.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

Fun post! I really enjoyed the links...good thing we don't follow superstitions anymore (since our political leaders are SO much wiser! ;-)

Anonymous said...

just yesterday we were walking back to our car when we heard the murder of crows crying.... at least three hundred flying from the left to the right of us all in a near perfect line. we watched the murder fly over us for several minutes never thinning out.... they all landed down the street flocking in the trees and power lines... the trees are bare from winter and they looked as if they were alive with black leaves. naturally we were more than freaked out... the movie "the birds" anyone? could this be a bad omen? any comments or insights?

Rurality said...

Wow, 300, that's an awful lot. I'd be pretty happy to see that many. :)