Almost every morning, while walking the children to school in the ever-cooling morning, we see them.
By the time I go to pick up my pre-schooler, they have over taken the park.
Dropping chestnuts from the lines and the top of telephone poles, then stepping on them with one black foot and prying them open with their beaks.
My littlest says to me "Count them mama! Count the crows!"
I tell him there are too many to count. The kids are especially giggly about it because it is their playground that these large black crows are invading. They ask "Mama, do you think the crows will play on the swings?"
I tell them that yes, I do think so. I think that the crows wait until no one is looking and have a Big Crow Party, playing on everything.
There are other birds too, a sort that looks a bit like a less lively coloured robin, though I am not sure what kind of bird it is. There are still a number of chickadees, and odd (to me) white pigeons that I guess are more like doves than the pigeons that one sees in the larger city. Seagulls, large and always awkward looking, strut around. Seems strange to see seagulls almost two hours from the coast, but I guess they are also a river bird - or they like the pet food manufacturer that we have in town.
Squirrels are scrambling, and maybe it is the sudden cold weather we are now experiencing after the unusually long dry summer that has put all the animals into motion. Collecting for the winter.
I realized, while walking one morning, that the harvest is even more important to the animals. It is a huge part of their cycle of life. The abundance of nuts and berries have put these animals to work, collecting and preparing for the cold. I don't think that in the past 5 years of living here I've stepped on so many walnuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts.
We are waking up in the dark, and by the time we head out on our walk to the school, the sky has only begun to lighten. But the Earth - she is wide awake.
The increasingly stark branches against gray skies, full of large black birds.
Hedges full of twittering, busy, tiny little birds.
Squirrels crisscrossing the roads, hard at work.
Wind blowing the now golden Tulip Tree, bathed in the random sunlight that escapes from the cloud covered sky.
I love Autumn. Crow Season.