Monday, April 23, 2012

Dark Colors

I went out to the chicken coop this afternoon after I'd gone to town and run my errands to find a huge black crow trapped inside of it. How the crow got in there is beyond me. He must have, had to have gotten in through the small run from the hen house. He was flinging himself frantically against the wire of the coop, swooping from one side of it to another in panic.

I opened the screen door wide and slipped it off its spring and within a few seconds, the bird had found its way out. Its feathers were glossy black, almost blue, and he flew up into a tree and cawed his rusty caw and then was gone.

So strange here today. So cool and it never did reach seventy in the house. Not even sixty-five.

I went to town and stopped on my way in to break off a few branches of a blood-red rose that blooms on a breaking-down fence beside where a house used to stand. I have tried for years to root that fucker and have never succeeded, despite using modern day scientific rooting hormones and today I decided just to cut them with my thumb nail and stick them in water to see if anything happens.
Anything at all.

They are so red, those roses when they bloom. Like blood from a vein which is returning it to the heart to be oxygenated again. They don't stop growing, even though the little green house is gone, no trace of it left except in my memory, and if I am recalling rightly, there used to be three of them, shacks for workers of some kind a long time ago and nothing left now but this broken down fence, those roses that someone planted so long ago, their blossoms coming in clusters and when I brought them into my car, I stuck them in my glass of water which I always have with me. I doubt they'll root but I ain't giving up.

It seems to me that some things, whether bird or rose, just really want to live and if I can help, why not?


  1. This post reminds me of something - but I haven't a clue what ...but a plant somewhere by an old foundation planted by some long ago long forgotten woman that just keeps going on and on. Better than a grave stone.

  2. It's cold here too and smells like michigan.

  3. That was creepy, with the crow. I have tons of them and they can be a little aggressive. They sit in the gutter and watch me eat on the back patio....waiting, just waiting!!

    You do know, if you're trying to root it (with the hormones)...cut everything off the stem and just root the stem as if it were a twig...right?

  4. You know I am a lover of crows. They poor things have been given such a bad name by society. I think it is because they are so smart and we equate their blackness with death. If it had been a kitten caught in their everyone would feel sorry for it. Not so with crows. They are fighters.
    Anyway, thank you for saving the crow. If he would have died their would have been a crow funeral. (Yes, they really do that!)

  5. There is something about the huge black crow caught in the coop and the blood red rose that imparts such strong, dark emotion. A beautiful juxtaposition. Joanne

  6. Some life loving plants will grow with the least of attention. It might be that your old fashioned way works better then all the modern day marvels.
    I do hope that you will get a baby rose soon! I can almost see the colour by the way you describe it!

  7. black crows and blood red roses.....sounds all very Edgar Allan Poe......fingers crossed with the rooting!!

  8. I wanted to write about this all night but I was too tired but I was struck by the imagery here the rose and the crow those are powerful icons Mary and they came to you for a reason indeed and reading of them here made me shiver even though it was 70 inside the house and all the windows open. Beautiful. Red and black and your saving the hens. I love you.

  9. Hurry for Birdie and also don't forget that crows have facial recognition so that crow will remember your kindness. The crows do bury their dead. I only saw it once a bunch of crows pulling a crow that had been hit by a car off the road and into the greenbelt. Again a breathtaking post Mary.

  10. Jeannie- Yes. Better than a gravestone.

    Kristin- What does Michigan smell like? I imagine cold steel.

    liv- They are mostly just twigs. I have little hope.

    Birdie- It was a magnificent bird. Huge and very much alive.

    Joanne- They went together in my mind, that blood red, that black.

    Photocat- It sure would make me happy.

    Young At Heart- Does sound Poe-ish, doesn't it?

    Madame King- I love you too. Warmer there than here. How can that be? I am pondering the meaning of the crow/the rose.

  11. The Michigan I'm thinking of is Idlewild, in the north woods on the west side of the state. when it's cold it smells fresh and ... cold. And that's how it smelled. Detroit used to smell like fumes. Now it doesn't.

  12. Kristin- I've never been to Michigan. It seems like another planet away but now I know more about it. Thank-you.

  13. I grew up in Detroit but left when i was 22 and we lived in the south for 12 years. Finally we moved back to Michigan, but across the state to the lakes and woods. 5 years ago we moved to Atlanta because most of the kids and grandkids are here. while i was living in idlewild and my sister was here in atlanta it would seem like we were on different planets sometimes with the differences in weather.

  14. Reading this made me think of my mom's hometown. Old homes abandoned where once there was laughter and hard work at taking care of a garden. It may have been just one rose plant but someone cared for it and plucked a new bloom to bring inside and put in a vase....

    We have had small birds get in our coop somehow...can't figure it out. The other day my daughter found just a head of a small finch in the coop. The hens just ignored it like it wasn't did that happen?

  15. If you have a real ostrich feather duster, it makes it easier to catch birds (or even bats) that get in where they shouldn't. That way you can calm them and get them out of the area without hurting themselves or you.

    Glad this little misadventure turned out well for the crow.

  16. I'm rooting for you! (sorry. couldn't help it.) But seriously, I am. Figuratively. I like to tell my cuttings, the little Fers, "Now grow like you were stolen!" And that usually works pretty well.

  17. I wonder what kind of totem the crow is. And what it meant for you to free it. Nice.
    The roses are blooming here as well. Beautiful time of year in the deep South.


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