I would normally start this story by saying, “About this time, every year the…” – but to be honest, I’ve only lived here for about 4 months. I’ve lived in this town for about 4 lifetimes, but the house for just a bit. Enough, though, to notice that this time of year crows come out in abundance. They perch on my highest roof peak and drop freshly plucked walnuts to the ground or street, in hopes a car will run them over so they can peck out the flesh. I know this because down the street about 100 paces is a giant, handsome walnut tree (Juglans major) that serves as food for the crows and many other birds, I imagine. From my office I can watch the birds eying each other and waiting for the cars (or tractors. I live in a town, on a street, where tractors drive past your house everyday. Yes, the iconic John Deere ones. It’s fabulous) to pass, judging when to toss down the nuts. They don’t ever really fight for them, just strategize about how and when.
The street and small gutter in front of my house, and all along my street, are beautifully littered with walnut shells. There is even the outer green husk that is strewn about, eventually staining the street as car after car pass over them. It’s gorgeous to see and fun to hear the crows cooing once they have succeeded in opening the tough food.
It was foggy when I walked around the block at 7:15 this morning, trying to capture what I have been hearing and seeing for days. For some reason I was fascinated with the debris in the street, so I took a couple pic.’s of that, too. The apple core being my favorite.