In honor of two great American "dark" writers, Edgar Allen Poe and Alfred Hitchcock, I offer this prelude to Halloween...........for the birds.
Crows. I know they aren't the Ravens Poe wrote about, but they do seem to be creating some havoc in U.S. cities, including Lafayette, and at Sycamore Hill. The other day I looked outside to the withered and browned stalks remaining in the garden only to spy nearly a dozen large black crows fighting over what little seed the sunflowers, dead as they may be, still had to offer. And then today while working I heard a, well, crowing commotion in the backyard. I peered out the window to first see one, no two, wait three, no at least four dozen angry crows filling our leafless trees and swooping to the ground around the bon fire pit. And when they heard me approach they lifted off in cascades of black. Hitchcock would have been impressed....and I must say, I was a bit unsettled. Though none chided me like the Raven.
"And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadows on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted--nevermore! "
And certainly not to be outdone by the flocks descending on our home, it is that time of the year to visit the Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski. We drove there last Tuesday and watched this fowl spectacle unfold under dreary skies. While not a scene from a horror show, the guttural sound overhead by thousands can be unnerving. It is a sight to behold.
"I keep telling you, this isn't 'a few birds'! These are gulls, crows, swifts...!"
"I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn't stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?" from The Birds