# 90 Second Thoughts on Animal Behavior

 

Second Thoughts on Animal Behavior.

I simplified. This winter those hard to clean squirrel-proof and tube feeders stayed tucked away in storage replaced by a single hanging platform and black oil sunflower seeds. My intent, to feed crows as well as the finches and sparrows,  was straightforward but the feeder I bought turned out to be too small for crows so every other day I’d toss leftover feeder seeds onto the concrete porch floor with some added handfuls of peanuts in the shell. This worked well but as spring approached a single gray squirrel showed up. One by one the squirrel gathered the peanuts from the porch then buried in them in separate holes dug in the lawn until all the peanuts were gone, then the squirrel would return to stuff itself with as many of the sunflower seeds as it could eat. When the crows showed up there was little food left and their favorite, the peanuts, were out there somewhere covered by dirt.  I was watching a parallel behavior to the panicked Trader Joe’s pandemic hoarders filling their carts with multiples of canned beans or peanut butter jars until the overflowing carts could barely be pushed and those who shopped later went empty handed.

In the midst of this long haul social isolation and sick of my own cooking, I tried local curbside takeout at a nearby eatery  but their usual homemade fries didn’t hold up in the paper container on the ride home. Waiting for a time of squirrel absence, the next day I tossed the fries on to the porch floor along side a pile of peanuts. I was testing those crows. Would they head straight for the protein or go for the junk food? You know the result. Every last fry disappeared down crow gullets before one protein peanut was consumed.

Watching the birds has provided solace during these troubled times, a relief though what I thought was animal behavior untouched by the overwhelming current circumstances of people. Such a relief thinking that nature would continue with Spring, unabated by troubling human conditions. How wrong I was; animal behavior is not “pure“ nor separate from our actions. And then the internet sprouted photos and videos from all over the globe showing animals filling in normally human occupied spaces: Japanese deer wandering the car-less streets. Mountain goats running around yards in Wales. Mountain Lions wandering freely through neighborhoods. Wild Turkeys showing up in Oakland.  It seems that nature will repair the planet if humans start behaving themselves.

https://www.boredpanda.com/animals-roam-streets-coronavirus-quarantine/utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

And:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51977924

5 thoughts on “# 90 Second Thoughts on Animal Behavior

    1. My critter sightings, particularly the close ones, are a delight. We share our spaces often with unseen animals or birds who think of it (rightly) as their space or territory. Humans are so self-focused. All critter sightings are gifts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great article. My feeling is that the world will repair itself even if we DON’T behave ourselves…it’s just that many of us won’t be around to see it. But hopefully it won’t come to that.

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  2. How lovely Jane, so keenly and poetically singing of nature repairing herself.. Maybe you have seen this recent poem, which your reflection brings to mind and heart.

    An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans
    By Kristin Flyntz

    Stop. Just stop.
    It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
    We will help you.
    We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
    We will stop
    the planes
    the trains
    the schools
    the malls
    the meetings
    the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
    single and shared beating heart,
    the way we breathe together, in unison.
    Our obligation is to each other,
    As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
    We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
    to bring you this long-breaking news:
    We are not well.
    None of us; all of us are suffering.
    Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
    did not give you pause.
    Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
    Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
    You have not been listening.
    It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
    But the foundation is giving way,
    buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
    We will help you.
    We will bring the firestorms to your body
    We will bring the fever to your body
    We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
    that you might hear:
    We are not well.
    Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
    We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
    We are asking you:
    To stop, to be still, to listen;
    To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all:
    To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
    To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
    To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
    To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
    Many are afraid now.
    Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
    listen for its wisdom.
    What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
    As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
    Stop.
    Notice if you are resisting.
    Notice what you are resisting.
    Ask why.
    Stop. Just stop.
    Be still.
    Listen.
    Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
    We will help you, if you listen.

    Peace, Wellness, Wholeness, Joe

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    1. Thanks for the beautiful poem which goes way beyond my simple observations.
      Hope you are well in this time of massive transition. I continue to believe in the
      healing powers that are needed as we form the new world to come but we’ve a
      very long road ahead. Who knows how many of us elders will be part of that transition
      or making a wholly different one altogether.

      Like

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