Hummingcrow & Co.

Kate 🎶  On Sunday She Left Us A Cherry  🎵Seán

On Sunday she left us a cherry On Saturday: water-logged bread On Friday she left us most of a rat On Thursday: a snake with no head

A corvid is feeding her offspring Each afternoon, soaking their food To some birds, the bath is for bathing But for Raven, it helps feed her brood

On Wednesday she left us cat kibble On Tuesday: a handful of rice On Monday she left us some swollen dog food A week’s worth of leftovers— nice

A corvid comes by, on a mission Each afternoon, feeding her brood To some birds, the bath is for bathing But for Raven: a sink for her food

On Monday she left us another bird’s claw On Tuesday: some limp deli meat On Wednesday she left us a ratty mouse tail On Thursday: a peanut-shell treat

A corvid comes by, on a mission Each afternoon, soaking her food To some birds, the bath is for bathing But for Raven, it helps feed her brood

On Friday she left us a snail shell On Saturday: bits of fish skin On Sunday she left us a chicken leg-bone And soon she'll surprise us again   Read on to reveal the inspiration for this bird bath ballad (warning – if you're squeamish about dismembered animal bits, don't scroll all the way to the end).  

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Seán   Web Reads: Free wild birds & Creative processes  Kate

Seán ~ Have You Seen This Bird

Being a full-time internet nature artist is great, weird, and lonely. This bird project felt more like being together than making art and I, who have never been up to the task of any sort of self-imposed daily practice, took dozens of pictures every day, sharing them with my internet friends. My friends became his friends, and I think caring about him became a way for them to care about me.

Elisabeth Nicula

I came upon this heartfelt and entertaining essay about a city-dwelling human's friendship with Frank the scrub-jay through Robin Sloan's newsletter. Elisabeth does a fantastic job interweaving the emotion and humor of befriending free wild birds, and inspires me to want to write about my friendship with Patience—the only crow that I ever named, and who the stamp which serves as my bird-avatar here is based upon. Maybe at some point I'll post the results on this blog...

(On a side note: As I was reading Elisabeth's story, I realized that I've encountered parts of it before through her great dioramas.space project.)

See also: Frank's Corpus
Kate head ~ On the pleasures of a creative practice that is uniquely your own

A funny coincidence: I was starting to put together a post about two sleepy juvenile ravens (stay tuned!) when I got side-tracked reading an interview on The Creative Independent (“a growing resource of emotional and practical guidance for creative people” that I check occasionally). Its title (above) caught my eye, 'cause I've been pondering my own creative practice around playing piano. It ended up being an interview with composer and keyboardist Roger O’Donnell (of The Cure), who happens to have just released a beautiful piano album, called—get this—2 Ravens. Full circle! I love stuff like that.

A bit from the interview:

It’s that abstract part of creativity that really interests me. When things are just flying around in your head and coming out. That’s what I find most interesting.

It’s when you have to make it palatable or understandable to other people that it becomes mundane. We all have these visions and sounds in our heads that are absolutely fantastic and amazing, but you then have to make them understandable to other people.

— Roger O'Donnell

More musings:

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Seán   Secret of the ghost swing

Trumpet Honeysuckle - 20.5.15

Known in some Salishan languages as the 'swing of the ghost' (or of the owl: q’ít’əәʔəәtsəәspəәlqwít’thəәʔ), this beautiful western trumpet honeysuckle provides food and shelter for at least 20 bird species in our area, and is also frequented by swallowtail butterflies. Likewise, amongst hominids, its nectar has served as a natural treat for children, its leaves and bark used for medicine, and its stems for building bridges.

Trumpet Honeysuckle - 20.5.15

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Seán   Hummingtunes  Kate

This is the first in a series of Bandcamp Friday posts – you can view the rest here.

Arbutus Squisher - 20.5.12

In light of Bandcamp's wonderful, now-monthly tradition of waiving revenue fees—which resulted in $4.3 million worth of sales directly supporting musicians the first time they did it, and $7.1 million the second time—we thought it would be nice to share some purchasable songs that have been vibrating through our heads lately.

Given that it has become 'normal' for musicians to be paid $0.00331 per Spotify stream, it's extremely heartening to see a platform which aspires to convince people to actually buy music to support the livelihoods of lovely, talented artists.

Bandcamp's next revenue-fee-free day is on August 6th, so mark your calendars!

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Seán   Weed-of-the-Week: Stinky Bob

Stinky Bob - 20.5.13

Although weeding is a daily duty here, we've started a weekly tradition called Weeding Wednesday during which we each spend a focused chunk of 水曜日 crawling around the Hill pulling Undesirable Plants to make room for greater biodiversity. In light of this new custom, I thought I'd take some time to research one of the weeds that I've been focusing on today:

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Seán   In Bloom: Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana)

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) - 20.5.22

An early morning stroll during May to July (according to the altitude) may discover the year's first Nootka Rose. Who has not then savoured the pleasure of the moment, the visual delight of the elegant buds, and the dewey freshness of the blossoms, the memorable fragrance—both of flower and foliage.

— Lewis J. Clark, Wild Flowers of British Columbia

Named after Nootka Sound here on Vancouver Island (“Nootka” itself being derived from a Nuu-Chah-Nulth term) Nootka rose's thorny thickets make great habitat for birds and other small animals, and its flowers are loved by bees, wanna-bees, and butterflies. This qel'qulhp (Halkomelm for 'wild rose bush') has been traditionally used by many First Nations groups for a number of medicinal and culinary purposes.

Apparently this rose makes a tasty jelly or jam, which we'll have to try sometime.

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) - 20.5.22

Kate  Hum Hill Recipe Corner: Simple Banana Oat Pancakes   Seán

On a typical day here, we're usually munching down bowls of granola for breakfast (partially because we wake up at very different times). But when we want to have a fancy breakfast together, we whip up this nice simple pancake recipe which Seán's mom introduced us to (and accentuate it with granola, of course):

Banana Oat Pancake Stack - 20.5.10 Seán's glorious stack for Mother's Day

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Kate   Happy World Migratory Bird Day!   Seán

This year, our local bird observatory are hosting the first annual Victoria Bird Week! We're looking forward to filling out our Bird Bingo card over the feather-ful days ahead and attending some of the fascinating talks. Meanwhile, here are some charming migratory birds we've been noticing on the hill today:

  Chipping sparrow (short-distance migrant) preening after a bath

  Violet-green swallow (medium- to long-distance migrant) spotted house-hunting through one of our feather friendly windows

  Rufous hummingbirds (long-distance migrant) [see also: last year's post]

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Seán   みんなきけるの月曜!

みんなきける logo drawing by Kate

マーケティングを意識することなく、好きなものを好きなように作った音楽は素晴らしいってことです。

その人の作った音楽を聴いて、その人の未知の部分を知り、話すことができる。音楽がなかったら、誰ともコミュニケーションできない、ってこともあったかもしれません。私が、今まで縁のあった素晴らしいDIYレーベル、 ミュージシャン達、その人達の一番すごいなって思った部分は、他人の作ったものをちゃんと褒めるところです。キャリアとか関係なく音楽そのものを聴いて褒めるって、本当にすごいことで、その人が一生持っている宝物になります。だから、私もいっぱいそういう機会を作っていきたいです。

なので、どの作品も是非一聴していただけたらなって思います。

~ さや

Seán ~ Minna Kikeru Monday!

One of my favourite discoveries while virtually wandering Japan last fall with Kate was Minna Kikeru ( みんなきける / “Everyone Can Listen”) — a digital music shop/space created by a group of musicians (loosely emanating around Tenniscoats / majikick) who wanted to showcase & support independent music which is otherwise difficult/impossible to track down outside of 日本, and in the process circulate positive energy and a greater sense of connection throughout their community during the pandemic.

We now have a tradition of listening to Minna Kikeru releases on Mondays here (in a series of alliterative music days, followed by Tape Tuesdays & Wax [LP] Wednesdays), and once a month I buy a few more releases to add to my growing collection — Bandcamp-Friday style.

Read more in the Scuttleverse: Hermies dancing %5IwVaFuRmraPjo2u2WTuxO322AVZye0NkGpOd6G38ks=.sha256

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