Last weekend I was determined not to let another cloudy day deter me from having some fun, so on Sunday morning I drove downtown to visit the American Crows on the Chicago lakefront – armed with peanuts in the shell and a fresh batch of Crows Favorite Cookies I had baked the day before.
Since Crows always know ahead of time what is bound to happen, it didn’t take long for my followers to find me. But when I first rode the elevator up to street level from the underground parking garage, the sky was not inviting.
Yet within a moment or two I saw two Crows flying overhead. I crossed Columbus Drive and entered that section of Grant Park just north of Buckingham Fountain that does not have its own name, as far as I can tell. But it has a statue and a garden and other features that differentiate it from some of the other sections. Unfortunately those features did not invite photographs in the winter gloom.
I was soon joined by one Crow.
And within half a moment I had three – then four – Crows coming to see me.
It had occurred to me that photographing black birds on a gray day was not going to be fruitful, but the Crows gave me plenty of opportunities anyway.
The first Crow seemed to remember the cookies. But the others went for the peanuts initially. There was one Crow who decided to approach a piece of cookie by first jumping back from it in case it was a trap – or a bomb – and when the cookie did not attack it, the Crow bravely took the sample.
I took too many photographs of the Crows, but I haven’t visited with them for a year, so I couldn’t help myself. I just have to visit the lakefront more often this year.
It was time to cross Jean Baptiste Dusable Lake Shore Drive and move toward the lakefront. The Crows came with me.
I should perhaps mention that the Crows were cawing in the key of B minor which matched the music playing in my head. I take for granted that they read my thoughts, but I had forgotten they also seem to be able to listen in on my ear worms.
Crows are great birds to feed, in no small part because they are fastidious in gathering their food and carrying it off to stash for later consumption. No mess!
At some point I noticed the sun was trying to come out from behind the clouds.
Once I was at the lakefront, the Crows followed me a bit but did not go beyond the Chicago Yacht Club. Unlike my visit last year, I had only about 8 Crows total this time with no others north of the yacht club at Monroe Harbor. So I brought home the extra cookies and peanuts. Cookies for me, peanuts for the squirrels.
There were not a lot of birds in and around the lake but I had a nice walk and it was just good to be on the lakefront again.
At least I got to see a couple Red-breasted Mergansers for a change.
Sunshine, which had been absent all week, began to return by the time I was already on my way home. The next day, Monday, was The Sunny Day of the Week. Tomorrow, we are promised, sunshine returns. It will be colder than it has been, but it is January. I will likely visit the Chicago Portage.
I have more of the usual local visits to report and will be back. Looking forward to singing with the choir Sunday morning. Our three selections are all in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.