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Plenty to crow about Richard Pena | Sat, Mar 12 2011 12:00 PM

Last Saturday was one of those patented days --- those glorious hours that you would like to wrap up and store for another time or, if we are in a giving mode, send to Minnesota or Chicago or some other place that is wrestling with winter snow and storms.

Actually this is not typical for a March entrance to 2011. The old adage tells us that March is supposed to come in like a lion. Leaving is the opposite, going out like a lamb. Perhaps the month got a little mixed up. This can happen to any of us.

Right or wrong I wasn't going to argue with the weather. It was being offered to me and I was going to take advantage of it. I grabbed my current reading material and headed out to my deck outside my red barn. I checked the barn's thermometer and saw where it was an unheard-of 86 degrees and here it was not yet 10 in the morning.

One of the things I quickly noticed was the vast amount of birds that have settled in the neighborhood trees and power lines. I have often wondered where they have been but have never received an intelligent answer. Birds, I suppose, are like most animals, including man, with special hideaway places they employ during hiatus periods, sanctuaries where other species are not allowed, the neighborhood bar, for example.

I looked up at my rain tree that was completely bereft of leaves. On some of the branches, particularly near the bottom there are small vestiges of greenery peeking through, reminding us that spring is truly on the way. In another month or so the tree will be one solid mass of green, an attraction for many of the species of birds who lend song to our backyards.

I have written of this tree in the past. It was, at one time, the principal abode for Henry, the miserably sad raven. He made frequent trips to the tree in its dormant times, squawking and complaining about his lack of female companions. Henry, I noted was a prime example of unrequited love, the guy who was left behind. It was a shame because Henry was truly full of love for someone but that love was never returned. I compared Henry's dilemma to those of Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, and Frankie and Johnnie - couples who had similar problems but which all landed in tragedy.

In retrospect the principal tragedy was mine, in making those comparisons. It has been pointed out to me that the couples I mentioned were not examples of unrequited love. Their love was not returned, it is true, but it was due to circumstances beyond their control. In Tristan and Romeo's cases it was simply family. When the folks are against the union you can rest assured that the result will be tragic.

In the case of Frankie and Johnnie it was stupidity on the part of both parties. Johnnie had no business fooling around with Nellie Bly, and in a public place, no less. And Frankie was ill-advised when she picked up the long 44, her being ill-tempered and all that. Johnnie was doing her wrong it is true but the one she should have shot was Nellie Bly. Now that was a true Jezebel. She walked away from the entire tragedy, probably as unconcerned as a passing stranger. She probably did not even go to the funeral.

I kept looking up at the rain tree the entire weekend and even the following days hoping to see Henry. Neither he, nor any of his buddies have shown up. They used to be all over the place, squawking and, in short, making nuisances of themselves, Henry right in there with them. The lure of the raven saloon must be rather strong.

I have been told that the ravens sometimes try the greenery of Sweetwater Lake. There is new growth there now after all the rains and this should be the source of good raven food. I have a date later this week to meet with one of the park rangers at the Sweetwater Summit Park and get an update on the new construction that is currently underway. Who knows? I might run into Henry.




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