Journeying Homeward From Home

By Gerry Traucht
His name is Hello.
When I say, Hello, to an empty sky, a crow appears.
It takes a minute or two if he’s far away. He stops by solo several times a day, flapping by a window or a door. Once in a while he brings his mate.
Here he is outside the kitchen door.

When no one is near the doorway, he invites himself in. Now he’s inside by the window.
This is his second time inside. He knows the layout.
He comes through the upstairs back doorway, through the house, down the interior stairs and waits for me to go around and open the front door for him to exit.
Free, he sits on the sign near the front porch.
Perched at the window.
Here he is on the street sign after I let him out. He’s in no hurry leave.

Our future meetings need to be planned for outdoors, exclusively. He’s messy.
I enjoy his visits.
With a flapping of wings, he announces his presence. He shuffles along the edge of a roof gutter with a semi-pleasant sound, letting me know where he is. He disappears. I spot him after a minute.
He takes pleasure in vanishing while remaining near.
He’ll sit the fence with his back toward me, or fly to a tree, roof, gutter, deck, sometimes the ground, tilt his head, watching, waiting for me to say Hello.
Today, with my dog resting nearby, he stays near while I pull weeds. He finds a container of sealed dog treats on a backyard table. It’s not for him. But he demonstrates he can open it. Nature in action.
His visits seem to invite me stay outside.
He comes by daily now, staging a black blur flitting by a window where I’m sure to glimpse him. A bit dramatic. He adds a cawing, when it’s only a flyby, See you in a few. He returns in a few, in blurs.
Crashing empty hemp bottles and a storm of wooden duck souvenirs from Bali fly from a windowsill in series of waves of crescendoing noise into a metal sink. My crow neighbor transforms our kitchen into a thriller with surreal characters and action, all without breaking anything.
Twice we were treated to a murder of crows, shaking up two slow nights while sheltering in place at home. Both shows happened at the tip the tall tree behind our house accented by the pink hues of the clouds following the sundown.
I suspect Hello is part of the show. It’s his territory.
Does wildlife invite us out?
Hello comes back around, eventually.
When I was four, the two kids ages four and six from across the street would come by at 6 am and ask to play. Now a crow named Hello comes by and asks, Can you come out to play?

About Gerry: Gerry Traucht is a Berkeley photographer. More of his work can be seen here and in his blogs. All photos in this blog were taken by Gerry.
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