Monday, March 27, 2006


Finally, in this beautiful weather, got to go out into the garden and get my hands dirty, get some earth under my fingernails, and there found some sneaky depredation I hadn't spotted from the kitchen window.

Nor had I really looked, for it had never dawned on me that any bird would have a fetishy thing for dried and bagged fish meal. I'd left the bag out of the weather under the overturned wheelbarrow, and when I went to take the covering off my brussels sprouts found that I was standing in fish meal.

It was so deep that it covered my garlic, which had been nibbled steadily through the winter by the gourmet deer, who apparently enjoy the garlic fronds as a tasty garnish to my loquat tree.

The garlic had been making a comeback now that Spring had afforded the deer a larger a la carte selection, but even so, it was now buried in fish meal. I have no idea whether or not garlic enjoys fish meal in such quantity, though I shall soon find out at the end of this course in gardener education under Professor Nature.

I removed the wheelbarrow and saw that a large and ravenous beak, the unmistakable signature of Dr. Crow, had nipped and slashed and pulled at the bag until there was a large hole in just the right place to enable him to scoop out mounds of the stuff, far more than he could consume. A little forensic investigation told me why.

Clearly his larger plan had been to invite a number of darkly feathered creatures of his close acquaintance, who apparently love to wallow in fish meal the way Scrooge McDuck loves to wallow in money. The caucus members appear to have silently rolled around and flapped themselves silly in fish meal when no one was looking, especially me.

I scooped up as much fish meal as I could (the garlic will be interesting to watch), bagged it securely and put it in the toolshed where beaks of darkness can no longer get at it. They'll just have to find some other way to enjoy themselves at my expense.


Anonymous said...

They will huff and puff and blow your shed in. Just you watch!

Robert Brady said...

No, I'm too crafty for that; I'll soon have lettuce and radishes to distract them!

Anonymous said...

Do you think it's just possible the Aussie consulate folk don't really mingle with the locals thus don't appreciate the culture, or they don't communicate with their homeland??? :-) Surely not!

As for your black-feathered fish meal loving friends, don't you feel just a wee bit guilty for having deprived them of what has so obviously been a source of great pleasure, especially when they put forth so much effort to create their special spa?

Never thought I'd see the day when I actually missed the crows that use to congregate in our yard in the early morning daylight hours carefully scouring for whatever is a crow's delight. Only a few show up now in our So. Cal. area. An invasion of the West Nile Virus transmitted by mosquitos to birds, descimated the crows numbers.

Seemed almost suddenly, I noticed we no longer had any crows. Previously, I would hear them calling, in their decidedly unmelodic manner, to each other from treetops, or hear the alarm of other birds dive-bombing them to protect nests and eggs from the crows maurading, I presume.

A year or so ago, I noticed a couple of obviously young crows in our yard. Since that time I have continued to see what appears to be the same two crows from time to tme, but no others. So I'm actually glad to see their presence, but prefer the small numbers.

Have been delighted to find your blog; enjoy your posts; beautiful descriptive language far superior to the #@%^**!