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The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.
Seattle, November 23, 2012.

Thanksgiving morning dawned without rain. Amazing. I grabbed coffee and a bite of breakfast, peered out the south windows, checked the barometer and the local satellite reports, and decided that Bill-the-Dog and I could get a quick dry walk in before it was time to start cooking.

"Quick walk" means the Wetland. Just five miles south and really quite small. Still, there is much to look at and I can spend a couple of happy hours there when the time is right.

We entered at the south edge, choosing to turn our backs on the lakeshore this time and walking into the Alder grove that embraces the little pond. With all of the storms, we hadn't been there for over a week. Many of the Alder leaves had come down since then, as well as a good number of smaller branches. Young Big-leaf Maples glowed next to Cedars that will shadow this path long after we're gone.

Thanksgiving day, 2012. The Wetland Alder grove.
Often when I enter here I'm surrounded by the voices of the little birds. Not this time. This time there was only grey light and the sound of scolding crows ricocheting across the pond. We picked our way across fallen branches towards them. Bill-the-Dog had to stop many times, intense in his need to investigate smells that I cannot even imagine.

Above us more crows arrived, big shadows streaming in from the north and the west,  scolding in the way they do when there is an eagle or a hawk nearby. We walked on, around the pond and onto the footbridge. It was slippery with leaves and I needed to pay close attention to my footsteps. I almost fell halfway across, distracted by crowplay above me, one after another rising up and diving towards a large, dark form in the big cottonwood at the end of the bridge. "Hello, Eagle", I said out loud, but I was wrong. This shape was not quite big enough to be Eagle, and too dark all over. Crow after crow rose up and plummeted down. The big dark shape crouched under the crows' attacks, then spoke, just once.

"Quork."

Raven had come down from the mountains on this Thanksgiving day, and his cousins were not happy about his presence.

Raven rarely comes down from the mountains. I believe that he once knew this landscape as home, but that was long ago. The civilized houses and gardens surrounding this place are not what he needs, and he has moved up and into the wild places above the city. Still, I think he visits from time to time to see if anything has changed. When he does, his brief presence is a blessing.

November 22, 2012. One Raven was present at the Wetland, mobbed by crows.

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I'll be in and out through late afternoon PST. Your turn. Tell us what's happening in your natural neighborhood, as close as you're comfortable revealing. Everyone is welcome to join in.

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