Monday, May 07, 2007

Vandals in spring

Last week I cycled through the park where the crows are, and was shocked to see that the carrion crows' nest had been chopped down, along with most of the new greenery. This is how the tree looked in March, on a beautiful day in early spring.

Last week I did not take photos because I was late for work, and I did not go back after work because I found the sight depressing. But today I went there again, to see how the other nests were, and discovered two things.

The nest had been cut down, along with most of the leafy part of the tree, as you can see in this picture. (Sorry about the terrible quality of these pictures. I had left the camera on the wrong setting, from trying - and failing - to get pictures of kittens in very poor light.)

The vandals! Half the tree is gone. Why do they DO that? Japan does not have enough greenery, but when trees do get big and leafy they get chopped to stubs.

But the first thing I learned today was that the crows do not give up easily.

And not only that, if it is the carrion crows again (and I suppose it is, because jungle crows build their nests in evergreens, remember?), then they have been learning from their jungle cousins. Wire hangers!

That was the first thing.

(I will get less overexposed photos on Wednesday when I go past. These pictures are truly dreadful.)

The second thing I learned was that the jungle crows' wire nest is now full of jungle crow babies. I could not see them, but I could hear them, over my head. I could not get into a good position to take a picture because some people were sitting on my usual bench (how DARE they?), but I can tell you that baby crows do not twitter and tweet. They do not have cute, baby bird voices. Jungle crow babies sound like they have been yelling at the top of their lungs since they hatched and their voices have gone all hoarse and cracked. They sound like heavy drinking chain smokers after a rough night.

I hung around for a while, but the people on my bench looked like they were there for the day. I don't think I'll be able to photograph the crow babies anyway, until they leave the nest. They are too high up.

I do not imagine they look very cute, anyway.

Later as I passed the river I overhead voices, and stopped to listen.

Unfortunately I did not get to hear the conversation, because just as I arrived the turtle got to the end of a clause, and stopped to think. The duck decided to have a clause nap (as you tend to do if you are having a conversation with a turtle) and I had to get to work.


Lia said...

There is such a thing as too much pruning. It always makes me sad when trees get butchered for no good reason.

The duck and turtle picture is amazing! I would think it was photoshopped or something, but I don't want to think that. If this is what your daily commute looks like, I wish it were mine!

Badaunt said...

Most of my daily commute is through heavily built-up suburbia. The river is a tiny fraction of what I see, and even it was looking murky today. It just came out looking nice in the picture because I zoomed in so much.

I did use Photoshop, but just to resize and try to fix the horrible brightness of those other pictures (which didn't work because I'd set the camera to let in SO much light). With me, using Photoshop is like using a sledgehammer to hit a flea, far too much tool for the job, but The Man uses it for his work and has taught me the few things I need to know. It's what I've got, and I don't like iPhoto. (iPhoto is ridiculously slow when you take far too many pictures, like I do, so I use PixelCat to view and then Photoshop for the few pictures I decide to keep.)

I don't know why the river gets so much wildlife. (Lack of choice?) It's a murky little stream, really, but I guess it must be silt rather than pollution, because the carp and birds seem to flourish. Very few birds today, though. Just the duck, and one heron not doing anything particularly interesting.

kenju said...

The tree looks as though it was pruned by a three-year-old! Horrible.

I love that turtle posing for you!!

Radioactive Jam said...

Turtle. Claws. Snap. But not a snapping turtle.

Time to duck.

Lippy said...

I'm still amazed that they wrestle wire coathangers into nests. Must be cold on baby birdbums though...

Badaunt said...

Kenju: It's a lovely pose, isn't it? I think turtles might be a little vain.

RaJ: Not snapping ... but I think, if you look closely, it may have its tongue out. Perhaps it prefers to be rude in ways other than snapping.

Lippy: I am also amazed, which is why I keep taking picture of them! I mean, I have problems when I get TWO hangers tangled up together. Is this one of those times when opposable thumbs are a hindrance, do you think?