Blue the Pied Crow

2017-04-30 18.04.22

“Blue” the resident Pied Crow

It is not often you able to go for a run and have your resident Pied Crow circle overhead watching you while you exercise. Well this is what I experienced this afternoon.

Firstly here is a brief background about this Pied Crow. He was found with an injured leg by our neighbour roughly a year ago. Having some bird rehabilitation knowledge the bird was taken in and cared for by our neighbour who managed to rehabilitated this crow and fondly named him Blue. A few months later, his foster guardian decided that Blu was ready to be released. But alas Blue didn’t want to leave! Now, Blue happily lives in Simonstown on the balcony of our neighbour. He is free to fly the streets and mountains of Simonstown throughout the day and always returns at around 17h00 to roost for the night. Blue has made some human friends in particular with our home and a few other homes within the neighborhood. He can often be heard squawking for your attention in the morning in the hopes of receiving a piece of fruit or biscuit as a treat, he politely waits at the sliding door and never enters your home without your permission! Calling for your attention and continuing to do so until you acknowledge him. He is not reliant on food from humans, as I have often seen Blue with a mouse or a small bird captured his claws, a feast he was not able to catch when he was injured.

I have learnt a lot of Pied Crows since Blue has moved in and realise they are incredibly intelligent indeed! Who would have thought a crow could become your companion as he has done in our neighbours case and certainly has impacted the lives of others in our neighbourhood.

Blue followed overhead while I was running this evening for a good 1km. It was a strange feeling not only for me but I am sure for the many people who passed me, finding it peculiar that not only did I have a crow following and swooping down on me, I was in fact answering him back every time he squawked!

Crows and ravens have had a long history of ominous associations, dating at least as far back as ancient Rome. They often have been used in literature as omens of death or foreboding. Perhaps this is because of their black feathers, or because they are known to sometimes feed on dead carcasses. While it’s true that sometimes a circling crow is scoping out carrion, and they have been known historically to circle battlefields and other places where people have died, yet there are other reasons a crow might be circling.

Blue stopped for a second on a sign post after picking up some carrion. Thankfully I had my phone and managed to snap this beautiful yet ominous picture of Blue! The evening’s air felt quite electric yet strangely was rather comforting having Blue accompany me and definitely didn’t feel like he was a messenger of death tonight.

Thank you for reading!
Fiona

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How free are YOU?

What is freedom ?  A Simple question or is it.

We are all familiar with the term incarceration. You commit a crime, you are tried in a court and if found guilty you get sent to jail. Solitary confinement and jail time are the worst form of punishment that man has dreamt up without infringing on human rights. Traditionally you are assigned a certain amount of time (depending of the severity of your crime) , to a small cell where you sleep, a mess hall where you eat and a yard, where if you lucky you can get a few hours of sunshine a week. If you are well behaved you can get assigned a little job punching number-plates for a few dollars a week (room and board are included).

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My understanding is that the hardest part of doing time is not so much “doing the time” but the routine. Nothing changes, it is exactly the same routine every single day. The relentless repetition and routine grinds down on even the hardest criminals. How do you know your in jail? The security and barb wire fencing and your loss of freedom. Your punishment is the constant reminder that you don’t have any choice in your day-to-day activities, every decision is made on your behalf and your just a zombie doing your time. I think we can all agree that we all would rather avoid any time in the clink if at all possible.

This is what is interesting to me. If we look at our lives in modernity we can all say we have given up certain aspects of our freedom. The question is really how much have you given up or lost unintentionally. I was having a quick think about the various lifestyles we choose to see if I could draw any parallels.

On the extreme end of the scale let’s look at city living. We constantly cram ourselves into tiny rooms in grey multi-story building blocks, with various security measures including 24 hour surveillance , buzzers , intercoms, key card access, endless rules and the list goes on.

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Our routine is to wake up, make a quick breakfast if we have time, rush of to some bus or underground train, clock into some very important irrelevant job that involves flying a desk. We then rush off as the clock strikes the hour back to your block to catch a take away “sad meal” on your way to check in for a shower and sleep time. Five or six times a week we do this,all in the hope of our one or two days off (invariably to buy food in preparation for the following week). We eat sleep and repeat the cycle, watching a clock, day in and day out till we either get a better job with a bigger cell ( Apartment) or we burn out. The only distraction is the chance of surrounding ourselves with more expensive and trendy trappings to numb the pain and the eventual demises of our dull existence.

There are many parallels between that type of life and incarceration. However people who live in the suburbs are better off in certain aspects no doubt, however they to have the same fundamental underlying issues.

Lets for a moment look at hard core drug addicts. The supposed scum of the earth. Have you ever for a moment thought of what’s its like to be in their shoes.

Prisoners if I have ever seen one. Never see one far from home for long or have any real freedom of choice as they are under a clock. No fences or high walls keeping them locked down. Just the threat of time. Time till the next fix is like a gun to their heads, always cocked and ready to fire. The ever present need to reset a clock that never stops ticking.

Have you ever dreamed of sailing away off into the distance?

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In reality it can be wet and cold, your all alone in desert of unmanageable expanse, monotonous dehydrated food and bad conditions with the ever present threat of loosing your life in a freak storm.

heavy weather sailing

What could possibly be inviting about something like that? Well maybe, The freedom of choice. The freedom to go anywhere at any time and the unknown over the horizon. Freedom to explore. The choice to set your sails to far away lands and adventures.

The facts are , no one can exist in this world for any amount of time without money.

You cant be happy without a certain amount of it, its our life blood.Anyone who tells you different is either clueless or wealthy, in my experience its the latter.

We all have to sacrifice certain freedoms in life and make compromise’s to get by. I have made way to many to mention. We all need to find a way to live our lives in a full and satisfying way.  I have found that we don’t need to be walled in to be prisoners in modern society, in-fact its really easy. As humans we adapt really well. It has helped us thrive but it can just as easily turn against us. One day its unthinkable, the next its a option and then finally, its expected. The trick is that we must not forget what we are working towards and whats really important in the long run.

Of all the worldly possessions we could possibly get our hands on, the most valuable commodity we  have and the only commodity that increases with each second that rolls buy is, time. The real question is…..

What are you going to do with yours. 

Thank you for reading. Anyway it was just a thought I had the other day, lets not forget its only my humble opinion.  Please feel free to share any comments or thoughts you may have.

Dan