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The Intelligence of Crows - Odds & Ends from May 2009

Animals that Thrive with People

My observation has been that crows are the smartest birds.    This link is an interesting talk about crows and how fast they learn and adapt. 

Crows get along well because of people.  They like to live near where people live.  We try to get rid of them, but can't.    They proliferate.  The same goes for seagulls, coyotes, geese, deer, pigeons and lots of others.   We also have the invasive plant species such as multiflora rose, dandelions, paradise trees and Japanese honeysuckle. 

paradise tree growing on Johnsonmatel farm in Brodnax VA

Below is Japanese honeysuckle growing up my pine trees.  Above is paradise tree.  We have been battling them since we got the farm. 

Japanese honeysuckle on JohnsonMatel farm in Freeman VA

Plastic Poles

Plastic light pole near Carlin Spring Rd in Arlington VA

I noticed that the light post was made of plastic.   You cannot tell until you get close.  They used to be concrete or metal.  I suppose plastic has advantages.   It doesn’t rust; it is easily molded and is light weight, so it is easy to move and work with.    

I vaguely object to the use of plastic, although I really cannot think of too many good reasons. Maybe they are made of recycled garbage bags and coke bottles. 

 Big Trees

I just like the nice big oak tree.  You can tell it has grown out in the open.   They planted oak trees in Arlington in fifty or sixty years ago.  It was a good, forward looking policy.

Big oak tree in Arlington VA

John Ford

TCM is having a John Ford film festival.   I am very fond of John Ford films.     They can be corny but also inspiring.   I like the use of traditional music and the way he paints scenes. 

Searchers

My favorite John Ford movies are “The Searchers,”  “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” & “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”  One of the things I like about his movies is perhaps what some others find tiresome.  He goes with similar themes and the same teams of actors.   John Wayne, Ward Bond, Maureen O’Hara, Ben Johnson as well as a passel of others whose faces I recognize but names I don’t know.   It feels like meeting with old friends.    He also films in iconic places, such as Monument Valley.  

Daisies on the Johnsonmatel farm in Brodnax VA

Above are some daisies on the farm.  Below is a heavy rain storm outside my work.

Rain in Washington


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