Hi Family, Friends and Fans (and those of you who are both)!
This weekend I’ll be appearing at the San Diego Comic Fest, one of my favorite shows. I’ll be on lots of panels and will be signing and selling my publications at my tables. It’s a terrific low key event that’s pretty much only about comics (except at this one we’re also celebrating the big anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein and the Frankenstein movies, too).
See you soon, I hope!
Raven News: There isn’t any. He’s hasn’t left anything in my bird bath for a few days now. I hope he’s OK… I left some glass jewels and fine sparkly objects for him. He might have thought those items were from another raven, so perhaps he bowed out of the competition, feeling he couldn’t compete. I hope not!
No gifts yet today. I set out some colorful glass jewels for the raven.
Yesterday he left me the meat part of a burger. The day before that I received a chunk of cooked chicken breast.
In researching owls, I could find no mention of the weird sounds being made by what I thought was a great horned owl. I assumed it was a great horned owl because that’s the species I’ve been mostly seeing (we had barn owls in the neighborhood a long time ago) — and it eventually lapsed into the who-hooing sound I was familiar with. According to my research, the owls that live in this area and make weird sounds like I heard are the elf owl, barred owl, spotted owl and short-eared owl. If I had been able to see the owl, knowing its size might have helped in identification. Hopefully, it will return and I’ll be able to see it.
No raven gift yet today. Yesterday the raven left me the top of a hamburger bun (with sesame seeds). My grandson Jesse said, “Too bad he left it in the water.”
Two nights ago at about 11:30 PM or so, I heard a hideous screeching outside. It repeated a number of times. I thought it might be a coyote, screeching to attract a dog. I went outside to investigate. I ran into my new neighbor Danielle, who was walking her little dog. She had stopped to try to determine what those cries were from and where they were coming from.
The cry rang out again, like nothing I’ve ever heard, sort of a cross between a demon, a hawk and a medium-sized dog. Really creepy! I determined it was coming from the top area of my neighbor’s tall Atlas cedar tree. Then the call transformed into something familiar.
“It’s a great horned owl!”
I couldn’t see it it but I heard its “Hoo-hoo”. Mystery solved, except for figuring out why it was making that really weird call before its hoo-hoos.
Yesterday my raven gift took the form of half a peanut butter sandwich (on white bread).
Today I discovered an alligator lizard head, vertebrae and forelimb with paw in my front yard birdbath.
The weird thing about that gift was the lizard head. Somehow, the raven was able to remove the skull and jaw bones of the lizard while keeping all of the head’s skin intact, making it look like a miniature lizard hand puppet. I don’t know if I could accomplish that using fine dental tools, much less a large, heavy beak and sharp foot claws.
I’ve been leaving peanuts for the raven but the squirrels here get to them before the raven arrives. I want the raven to associate me with being the source of the peanuts so that he will feel more comfortable in my presence. Wish me luck!
Today’s gift to me from the raven was a piece of pizza (pepperoni).
I left him some roasted-in-the-shell (and unsalted) peanuts — and some clean water in the bird bath.
In the coming days, I’m going to try to train the raven to fetch peanuts from my fingers. I did this with a scrub jay, teaching him to land on my forearm and retrieve the peanuts from my fingers. Amazingly, it took me only a few hours to train the jay to do this. He also began to perch on top of my easel each day and watch me paint, offering unsolicited critiques from time to time. I nicknamed him “Scrubby”.