crow party


Yesterday’s Phenology: Well, I don’t have much to tell, being stuck in my cube all day. No frost on the windshield in the morning. Seemed sunny out, from what I could tell. I oughta get out more, I guess. The days are lengthening out nicely, I should make mention of that, how nice it is to drive to work in the early dawn light, and come home and it’s still light out. Makes a big difference. Well, makes a bit of difference.

Song of the day: Meade “Lux” Lewis, Yancey Special

Raymond and University, 5:55 pm


Yesterday’s Phenology: a more typical late February day. Temps in the low 40s. Lakes still largely ice covered, but bare of snow, so you can’t always be sure.

Song of the Day: Bennie Moten’s Orch, That’s What I’m Talking About

monday moon


Yesterday’s Phenology: another February day, with the temps in the upper 30s and a sun that made it seem warmer than that and a bit of a breeze that made it seem colder than that. I guess, kind of a confusing day, in some respects. Cardinals singing their optimistic spring song. Saw some little yellow peeps in the sunday ads, seems a bit early for the peeps to come out, but everything is early this year I guess.

Song of the day: Benny Goodman, Moonglow

Winter of the Crows – 21


irridescent wings
shimmering in the moonlight
caww caw calling caaaww

Yesterday’s Phenology: Heard a cardinal singing a spring song, though it was only in the 20s all day. Everything is drabby brown and cold and dry.

Not Nice! Sad!

Song of the day: CocoRosie, The Moon Asked The Crow

Winter of the Crows – 20


old crow looking down
sees me looking up and we
complete each other

Yesterday’s Phenology: Cold and gray in the morning. But no snow at all, not a whit. It all blew south of us. They got quite a bit down there, as predicted, 15 or 16 inches in places. Here? Zero. Not unexpected. But, as I said, colder, 20s, more Februaryistic than in the last several days. Not much complaining about that, though, as people were generally glad not to have to deal with a foot of snow. I was a little disappointed, but it did make the commute easier.

Song of the Day: Julie London, Bye Bye Blackbird

Winter of the Crows – 19


Yesterday’s Phenology: There was so much talk about the coming snow that the mass of hot air over the twin cities moved the storm pattern south a bit. So now it looks like we’ll get a little, but maybe not. Sunny day, but colder, more like February, in the 30s, probably. Clouded up in the evening. Not snowing yet.

Song of the day: Iceland Folk Song, Krummavisar

Winter of the Crows – 18


Yesterday’s Phenology: Again, mid 50s. Are those snow clouds over there? Crows tell us nothing.

Song of the day: Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, John Herrmann – Songs From The Mountain, The Blackest Crow

Winter of the Crows – 17


winter wind
he can’t find his roost
the evening crow


Yesterday’s Phenology: Apruary continues, with yet another 61 degree day. A bit of open water on the pond, taken advantage of by a few ducks and geese. In the evening, beautiful clouds, sunset, and constellations of crows flying to the river.

Song of the day: Bob Dylan, Black Crow Blues

Winter of the Crows – 16


usually hateful

yet the crow too

in this dawn snow


Yesterday’s Phenology: Yet another peculiar day, in the low 50s, with rain much of the day, hard at times. Would have been  a lot of snow, back in the day. But today it was rain. This evening, I stepped out into the yard, and it was like a summer night. One of those summer nights after a hard rain, when the temperature drops abruptly from the hot summer day, and everything is fragrant and dripping. My kind of night. But it is February.

Song of the day: Александр Маршал, ЧЁРНЫЙ ВОРОН

Winter of the Crows – 15


on a withered branch

a crow is perched

autumn evening


Yesterday’s Phenology: Another April day. Upper 50s and mostly sunny morning, cloudy later in the day. A few small islands of snow, and the puddles are starting to recede. Pitchers and Catchers have reported to spring training, it seems they are reporting earlier than usual this year, but everything is amok in the phenology area these days. When it’s 60 degrees in February, what will be the temperature in July? I consider that the scientists have their forecasts about how global warming will go, but perhaps this is all guesswork, no one really knows how fast a global climate can change and which effects will cascade into a downward death spiral.
Just for the record, Carbon Dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is about .04% (average surface temp about 57 degrees F), where as on Venus (average surface temp about 872 degrees F) it’s 96.5%. I was just curious about that.

Song of the day: Molly Healy, The Crow

Winter of the Crows – 14


in one spot
the crows congregate…
snow is melting!


Yesterday’s Phenology: Another day from mid-April, stuck smack dab in the middle of February. Looks like we topped out at 58 today, which ties the record high. A beauty of a morning, whispy clouds bright sun, crows, cardinals, woodpeckers, geese, and flickers all doing their thing.

Song of the day: Schubert – Winterreise – “Die Krähe”

Die Winterreise No. 15. The Raven (Die Krähe)

A raven has flown beside me

Since the day I left the town

Raven, bird of ill-omen

Will you ever leave me?


Do you stalk me

In the hope I will be yours?

My journey can’t last much longer

My strength begins to fail


Raven, surely you will be true

Until death overtakes me

Winter of the Crows – 13


It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.
Yesterday’s Phenology: Another day of climate change. 63 degrees in Minneapolis, breaking the old record, which was 55, set in 1981. (Don’t remember that.) Sunny, with a light warm breeze. Saw the usual crows, and a long-legged raccoon that was wanting to cross the road at rush hour. He thought better of that, and scurried back to raccoon town.
Song of the day: Simone Perrin, Crow

Winter of the Crows – 12


The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.
Yesterday’s Phenology: Not exactly warm. 41 degrees. Partly cloudy. A goose flew past Venus in the evening sky, gave us a honk. Venus was amazingly bright tonight. Another beautiful winter sky.
Song of the Day: Etta Jones, Bye Bye Blackbird

Winter of the Crows – 11


He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

Yesterday’s Phenology: It got up to 35 or so today, the coldest day of the week, the weather guy said on the radio, and 7 degrees above average. Possibly up to the 60 mark in the next day or two? Not a lot of snow left now. This feels like March to me, or perhaps early April. Not good.

Song of the Day: Skip James, Crow Jane

Winter of the Crows – 10


At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
Yesterday’s Phenology: Warmish — particularly for February — and W      I           N                D                       Y          !

Song of the Day: Andrei Krylov, Black Crow

Winter of the Crows – 9


When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
Yesterday’s Phenology: 48 degrees or so today. Yup. 13th of February and 48 degrees. Some of the nearby lakes, the ice is starting to look suspicious. Beautiful evening for a dog walk. With the moon not yet up, and only patchy clouds, the air seemed very clean and you could see a lot of stars and planets from the backyard. Venus is quite bright in the evening sky, Mars a bit less bright. Orion was up in the Southeast, with Sirius. Very beautiful night.
Song of the day: Nina Simone, Blackbird

Winter of the Crows – 8


I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
Yesterday’s Phenology: Sunny and cool. Maybe in the mid 30s today. Cool enough to leave a layer of ice on many of the sidewalks. Heard a mysterious bird, saw it, but couldn’t identify it, too bright, too far away. Sounded very familiar, but didn’t get a good look at it. Heard a hawk over by lake of the isles, and then saw it circling over head. A breezy day, and the Hawk was having fun on the winds. Big Bird!
Song of the Day: Fern Knight, Murder Of Crows

Winter of the Crows – 7


O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?
Yesterday’s Phenology: Another spring-like day, with initial sun, and 40 degrees. Heard a Flicker this morning, such a striking call. Big crows flying about the house. Big puddles have returned. The remaining snow is gray and icy.
Song of the day: The Haunted Windchimes, Out With The Crow

Winter of the Crows – 6


Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
Yesterday’s Phenology: Well, another odd day in an odd winter. It got up to 46 degrees, and I took a turn around the pond without my winter coat, a sweatshirt being sufficient. Sunny, a bit of a breeze. Snow receeding, though the pond is still iced over.
Saw a crow fly over as we walked. Nothing more.
Song of the day: Arve Moen Bergset, Kråkevisa

Winter of the Crows – 5


Yesterday’s Phenology: Sunny and a tad warmer yesterday, after another single-digit start. An endless stream of crows headed to the river as I walked Flynn after work.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
Song of the Day, Paul McCartney, Blackbird

winter of the crows – 3


Yesterday’s Phenology: I miss having little animal notes to share in my phenology notes, but:

a. I don’t see many little animals

b. I don’t get out enough

c. When I do get out, I don’t see many little animals.

Yesterday started off with a dismal gray drizzle fog, which made for very slippery conditions indeed, as the temperatures slowly descended through the day. The streets were generally not terrible, perhaps due to accumulated salt residue, but the sidewalks were patchy and treacherous, and I very nearly lost my footing a couple of times. A steady breeze blew down from the NW, and the sky was clearing a bit in the evening.

Poetry Corner (Wallace Stevens Continued):

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
Song of the day: Charlie Hicks, As the Crow Flies


Winter of the Crows – 2


Yesterday’s Phenology: Another day of gray, hovering about 32, as if trying to decide which way to go. Sounds like more of that ahead.

Poetry Corner: Wallace Stevens, continued…

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

Song of the Day: Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Three Ravens

winter of the crows


Yesterday’s phenology: A sunny day. Temp was up in the mid 20s, and no one was complaining. We have an endless supply of crows, and these evening, at dusk, they were all headed towards downtown. I wonder where they go? Perhaps by St. Anthony Falls? Probably I should follow them and find out.

Today in Poetry Corner we have the first stanza from Wallace Stevens’, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
Song of the Day: Bruce Molsky with Julie Fowlis, The Blackest Crow

winter tree


Yesterday’s Phenology: Ahhh, February. Maybe it was in the 30s today, but it felt a bit colder. Cloudy but bright. Didn’t crack freezing; sidewalks have patchy ice. Crows flit from tree to tree, calling and heckling. Clouds broke up a bit in the evening, caught glimpses of the moon and Venus.

Song of the Day: Antonio Vivaldi, Winter