In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Protecting My Little Friends

A few years ago, while working on a dock, I became fascinated by the Cliff Swallows that lived in mud nests under the dock. I even wrote a post about them.

While I was at the office this morning, dropping off my paperwork for the week, I noticed the power lines were covered with thousands of Tree Swallows, which must be in the process of migrating North. As I watched them, I thought of the time on the dock with the Cliff Swallows: 

One morning, while waiting for the crew to weld some hangers, I noticed a crow flying around the dock. I didn't pay much attention to it, until the tiny birds started fussing. They chased the crow back to the land, where it landed on a fence and watched.

A few minutes later, I saw the crow again. As I watched, it swooped down and caught one of the swifts resting on a concrete ledge, and took off toward the land. The swifts chased for a moment, but soon left the crow alone to enjoy its feast.

For some reason, that angered me. The crow probably was only feeding on the slow and weak, but that only made me more angry. The crow soon returned.

This time I was ready. I'd gathered a few bolt heads we'd accumulated from removing some structural steel. As the crow attempted to land, I damn near hit it with a bolt. It flew back to its perch on the land, but only for a short period of time.

When it returned, I let fly another bolt, which emboldened the swifts, that quickly swarmed the crow; fussing and pecking at the predator they didn't like.

The crow flew further inland, but wasn't completely discouraged. After about an hour, I was alerted by the swifts, as they fussed and swarmed the returning crow. This time, I only had to throw a bolt head its way, when it turned and left; with the swifts following as far as they dared.

The crow didn't return that day, or any other, while I was there. Whether it waited until we left for the evening to return I'll never know, but while I was there, it was smart enough to know I was helping protect my little friends.


  1. The smaller and weaker among us often need a champion. It is reassuring to know that there are still folks who care enough to become that person.

    1. The swallows must eat tons of mosquitoes during the summer. That alone is an endearing reason to keep them safe.

  2. We get a large hawk that sometimes parks out on one of the small trees and waits for the unsuspecting small lizard that climb out lanai screen.

    They usually see him in time and can drop from their perch in lightning speed. The first time I thought the hawk was going to come right through our screen. His talons barely grabbed the screen where the lizard had been and luckily he let go before it was torn in shreds.

    Thankfully the little guys have found a great retreat into the end of the metal railing along the back step. We love watching them dart around the place.

    1. As I was mowing my lawn yesterday, I found I was pausing often, while the small green lizards scampered to safety from the swirling blades that removed their clover hideouts.

  3. The swifts have relatives here that we call barn swallows. Irritating pests is what they are, but they're also protected by the feds since they are songbirds.

    Perhaps it's the bird crap I had to clean from my porch, or getting buzzed every time I stepped outside, or how they'd pick on the resident barn cats. The luster of cuteness only goes so far with these little a holes.

    1. In the same environment, I don't think I'd be as gracious as I am with the dock dwellers. Their crap goes straight into the ship channel; to be gobbled up by fish.

  4. That just goes to show, you can lead a crow to swallows, but you can't make him bolt. or is it, A crow at the sand is worth two bolts in his tush?

  5. I think it's: "You can lead a crow to water, but you can't make it swallow a bolt.