nature tagged posts

Crow, Unlucky


By Andrew Hidas

What were the odds of it being
this crow in particular and not
one of its hundreds of brethren
now squawking futilely on its
behalf as its hapless, now limp
carcass is being carried furious
and fast across the lawns of
Jacqueline Drive, hard in the
talons of this hawk who passes
within yards of my bicycle as the
victim’s fellow crows dive bomb
every determined flap of its wings?

Every crow spared but this one,
dead, snuffed, just like that, a
meal in the waiting if the hawk
can elude the battalion of angry
crows acting for all the world as
if they will not stand for this atrocity.

So startled am I by this raw hard
scene of everyday terror that I stop
my bike in awe and alarm as the crow
army screams and circles far above,
their fallen comrade then dropped as
suddenly as the hawk had pounced
and snagged it mere seconds ago.

And now it lies inert, heaped in the
middle of a n...

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The Hope in Wildness: A Poetic Homage to John Muir

“In God’s wildness is the hope of the world,”
wrote John Muir while tramping through Alaska on
a long mission to meet that hope on its own terms.
Not to snub the majesty of perfect sunsets,
Muir might hasten to add, but is there a
nobler expression of divine engagement,
of a super-charged world ripe and
overflowing with portent and awe,
than a severely blackened sky followed by
lightning cascading across its canvas?

Or even in suburbia, biking in a hot howling wind,
when one forsakes actually getting anywhere, but
instead peddles slowly, mouth agape at neighborhood
trees gone horizontal under relentless gusts.

One is given to laughter in these moments,
marveling at the audacity of us humans,
all puffed up with self-importance,
Charlie Chaplin characters marching up to
Brawny Nature and proclaiming our freedom
from its transgressions with the bulwarks of
our houses and stores, bricks and concrete.

Is ...

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The Lizard, the Crows, the Soldier…and Me

Returning from a run at the school track around the corner, I behold a small gathering of crows in the middle of the street, all of them looking down, as they tend to do, with their uncanny radar for discerning food in the urban wilderness. The object of their attention looks to be a small tree branch at first, but I can’t fathom why that would occupy them so concertedly, so curiosity bids me to intrude upon their circle. Where I come across an obviously besieged alligator lizard, its mouth agape in an “I will bite and swallow you all!” bluff that had been effective enough to keep the gathered crows dancing gingerly in the moments before my arrival. The crows squawk in retreating to the surrounding trees and telephone wires, wary eyes cast upon me, their sudden competition for a protein snack.

One lone lizard, maybe an inch high and a few inches long, already missing its tail, against probably five c...

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