I live in what is basically a tree house, and from my vantage point I am able to watch the animals outside, racoons, skunks (yes) squirrels, crows, Steller's jays, and all sorts of other birds. It's amazing how they react with each other. I watch them playing, fighting, making love, and doing all the things that we humans take for granted in the human world. Some of the animals have distinct traits and personalities. My daughter recently told me she watched a crow put a walnut in the middle of the road so the cars would run over it and he could eat the nut inside. I have watched crows scoop a clam from the sand, fly up into the sky and drop the clam on the pavement so it will break open.
Today I received an e-mail from my cousin, with some photographs attached, and I wanted to share them with you, if you have not already seen them (which you probably have ... I am always the last to see these things).
Here in the first picture, a female barn swallow is injured and the condition is fatal. She was hit by a car as she swooped low across the road.
Her mate brought her food and attended to her with love and compassion.
He brought her food again but was shocked to find her dead. He tried to move her ... a rarely-seen effort for swallows.
Aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again, he cries with adoring love. Barn swallows mate for life, as do many other species of birds, including swans.
He stood beside her, saddened of her death. Finally aware that she would never return to him, he stood beside her body with sadness and sorrow.
He stands vigil to his lost companion.
Apparently these photographs were taken in the Ukraine, and the photographer sold the pictures for a nominal fee to a newspaper in France. All copies of that newspaper were sold out on the day these pictures were published.
Human beings, with our ethnocentricity, believe we are superior to the animals with whom we share this earth, but I believe we are not. Most animals don't foul their own nests or their habitats, but consider what a mess we humans have made of them. Animals have much to teach us, if only we would open our eyes and hearts to learn.