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Mpls, MN, United States

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Giving the bird(s)*

I was going to dedicate this post to all the birders out there (is that possible?), but now that I'm thinking about it, it doesn't really have anything to do with birding. Mostly, as usual, it has to do with me.

So two Saturday nights ago, there was a great cacophony outside my apartment. When I went out on the porch to look, there were masses of crows cawing and swirling over my neighborhood, alternately alighting on trees and swarming into the air. It was near dusk, and the noise and numbers were eerie. I watched as a woman parked and then stood beside her car, staring, transfixed at how our street seemed suddenly to be the eye of a crow vortex. I shivered out there for as long as I could, shooting video after video on my camera phone in an attempt to capture the surreality of the scene.

When I transferred the files to my computer, I could still hear the crows, but now that they're on Vimeo, the sound is doing the same weird thing it always seems to do on my blog. Maybe if you download the files you'll get good sound? Anyway, hopefully this at least gives some small idea of the adventure.

Crows from Disaster Kitchen on Vimeo.

Crows 2 from Disaster Kitchen on Vimeo.

This was the aftermath:

Here are some friendlier birds that seem to love this particular house near my coffee shop (I do laps around the block when I've been reading too long to think straight):

There were more of them in the bush, but I seem to have startled them when I reached for my phone; most of them flew into the tree just visible on the left. They are Small Round Brown Birds.

Finally, here is the third video I have up on Vimeo, about which I am trying to decide how I feel. I'm not sure if the video quality is bad because it started out that way, because of the upload, because of Vimeo, or because of how it's playing on my own computer, but it may be way too painful even to watch. In any case, it's about a road trip undertaken from Lincoln to Seattle in the summer of 2003. I found it while I was backing up files.

Road to Nowhere from Disaster Kitchen on Vimeo.

*I hate it when it does that.


David said...

Wow that is a lot of birds, and a lot of bird poop as well. I enjoyed the road trip video as well. Aren't road trips fun?

On a technical note, the sound issue on your crow videos is caused by your phone using a funky audio codec (QCELP). My phone does it too. The only online video hosting site I've found that handles it correctly is YouTube.

Curly Sue said...

I know that maroon minivan all too well. I'd forgotten that you borrowed the Safari to take on that trip.

And I do like Ellen's hair like that. I'd forgotten how startling it was at first to see her with bleached blond hair. It's a good look.

Ern said...

Ooh, those crows are creepy (but also sort of awesome), even without the sound. And blech, have fun washing your car.

Ellen said...

The opening sequence is gold. I died laughing, not a good thing to do in a studio full of people.