Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ravens, Groundhog Pancakes And The Last Pawn Shop Visit

The experts say that I live in the area where ravens can be found in this country. Over the years, I thought that I’d seen a few, always one at a time. The ragged-looking crows seemed slightly larger than normal, so I wondered if I was looking at a raven, but I never knew for sure. Lately, I’ve been hearing a crow near my home that seems to have a sore throat. His (her?) voice seems lower and a little raspy. At the dump the other day, however, there was no doubt in my mind. While crows were all around, three of their larger cousins sat on a yard-high ridge of red clay and croaked at one another as they watched me drive by in the dump truck. I wouldn’t have had time for a shot, even if I’d had my camera, but they were RAVENS, by golly. Thankfully, they weren’t rapping at my chamber door.

Yesterday morning, on a long, straight section of roadway a few miles up the Ohio from my home town, I saw a young groundhog quickly scoot out to the center of the highway and lay down to sun himself. I knew what he was doing from being around animals, both wild and domestic, all my life. He drug his rear legs out behind him and splayed his front legs to make the maximum contact with the sun-warmed pavement, after exiting his cool den and waddling through the damp grass. The problem was, he was laying just on my side of the center line, and where my wheels would pass, unless he moved. There no cars behind me and no cars ahead of as far as the eye could see. So, I did what any self-respecting, animal-loving truck driver would do—I laid on the air horn. MY but he was a fast little feller! I have to wonder, now, how many groundhogs meet their demise simply because they take a minute to warm their dew-cooled bellies on the sun-warmed asphalt of some country road.

After cashing my check yesterday evening, I went to the pawn shop and picked up my last gun that was in hock. It tells the story that I’ve been working nearly 10 months and have just now been able to reclaim my deer rifle. Trying to catch up from over a year with no work, and low hours this winter didn’t help any. I paid out more money that the rifle was worth, to keep from losing it, but it’s set up just the way I like it, and I’d never bother to get another. So I did the illogical and kept paying their 20% interest per month and paying on the principle until it got down low enough that I felt I could afford to pick it up. I won’t miss seeing the place.

That rifle was the one that sat in the corner all year, except for the day that it would fire one shot and put a deer in the freezer. Then it would go back to the corner (after cleaning, of course). That went on for about five years, until I quit bothering to shoot a deer at all. Still, it feels good to have it back. © 2015


Vicki said...

Isn't it fun - the wildlife a person can see when out and about. And it is a really good feeling when our finances get back on a fairly even keel. Glad you could retrieve your rifle. That's important.

kymber said...

Gorges - we have ravens and crows here....they are always fighting over the bread that we put out. when we first got here - jam thought our crows were ravens....because our crows are that big! but trust me, no matter how big the crows are, you can always tell a raven - the ones here are huge! almost as big as a dog - bahahahah! i am glad that you don't go out of your way to run over little animals who are just trying to warm themselves - you know how i feel about killing things for no other reason than to kill them. i am very glad that you will get your rifle back!

sending much love! your friend,

HermitJim said...

I'm glad you were able to get the gun back. Like an old friend returning home, right?

M. Silvius said...

No ravens around here but we have lots of Crows. They like to flock together in a big murder numbering several hundred at a time like they are having party and make a big racket. Not sure what they are doing but they sure seem to be up to no good. On occasion I get them in twos and threes that come and tear tufts of grass out of the lawn, root and all looking for grubs. They will make a mess of a lawn in no time flat. Glad you got the old gun back, don't let it go again.

Sixbears said...

Glad your rifle came back home where it belongs. Looks like you are catching up.

We have a lot of ravens here. There is way too much going on behind their black eyes. Ravens live about as long as people and they learn a few things in those years.

Saw a moose on the side of the road today -locals call them "swamp donkeys."

Mamahen said...

The crows around here are pretty big also...hubby has commented on the fact they seem larger than they were in the past..but anyway glad you got your gun back and good job running that whistle pig off the road :))

Gorges Smythe said...

Yes, Vicki, I enjoy animal watching, and it IS good for life to be getting more normal.

I think I've read that animals tend to be larger, the farther north you go, kymber, though they may have only meant mammals. It has to do with maintaining body heat. And I'm not for NEEDLESS killing of creatures, either. I hope you and "jam" are well.

That's about the case, Jim.

It's sort of sad, but I guess that makes a good case for spraying your lawn, Michael. I'm hoping things never get to where I have to see the inside of a pawn shop again!

Thanks, Six Bears. I didn't know that about ravens, and I'd never heard the term "swamp donkey's." ha!

Maybe they're getting some growth hormones from the cattle feed they're stealing, Mh! Thanks and thanks on the other.

Chickenmom said...

Always wanted a raven for a pet - those birds are just so darn smart!Glad you finally got your rifle home - some things are just too important to let go of.

Gorges Smythe said...

That would be neat, Cm. And thanks.

Carole Barkett said...

Glad you got your gun back too. I'd love to have the ones I used when growing up. Our government scared everyone into giving them up years ago. Sad economy we have here too. I'm just between jobs when most people are retiring. Nice to have some free time to read your blog again.