Landlord’s truck drops a load of broken
concrete in the field; grass is not yet
up to my knees. Clodded dirt beneath
is soggy, deeply uneven. Still winter to
the sycamore; everywhere else wild mustard
and oxalis bloom. Weeds papered with grey
oak leaves. A neat row of greenery where
pink Naked Ladies will bloom by summer. Handful
of small, curled mushrooms: Elfin Saddles,
unnameables. Both hives gone. Goats stare
at us from two different properties; Charlie
clambers to stand upright, leans on a rail
begging for leathery leaves and nettles.
Lobito trots over for a touch; silent
familiarity; someone has brushed his mane.
He does not try to eat my buttons.
Lines from my bookshelf:
Crows sometimes sprawl out around the mounds of
acid-producing ants. This craziness, or “anting,”
is a crow’s version of an insecticide application.
Anting crows grab ants with their beak, crush them,
and wipe the natural oils across the underside of
their wing featers.
— John M. Marzluff & Tony Angell, In the Company
of Crows and Ravens, p. 171.