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November 28, 2011 / The Promiscuous Reader

Serendipity: A confluence of crows

This morning, on my way to work, I saw two crows sitting on a sign.  One was carefully grooming the other, which, based on my limited observation of the species and their usual cacophonous interactions, was oddly endearing.  It also seemed serendipitous.  It seems that in my life there has lately been a confluence of crow and raven  sightings, mentions and other interactions that will find their expression in today’s post.

First, and if you follow me on twitter you already know this…cue the shameless plug… (@promiscuousrdr), I recently discovered that the NFL team the Ravens is a team after a reader’s tell tale heart.  While perhaps watching is perhaps too active a verb for what I was doing, there was a game on TV the other day and as I happened by,  I noticed that one of the teams playing was called the Baltimore Ravens. My ears perked up, my eyebrows raised and after a quick google confirmation I declared that the Ravens were my new favorite football team.  Naturally, to anyone who has ever met me, this was surprising news, but once I explained my reasoning they understood.  The Ravens, as I’m sure you have by now surmised are named after Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The Raven.   There may be a bit of hope for me and the NFL yet.

In other crow news, this past summer I read, savored and fell in love with Brian Doyle’s book, Mink River.  The book, an exemplar of Oregonian magical realism if ever there was one, is set in a small coastal town in Oregon and has as one of it’s many delightful characters, a talking crow.  The book was amazing and truly combined some of my favorite things in the world, the Oregon coast, the mossy woods and Irish language and culture.  I don’t want to say too much about it so if you choose to read it, you can do so on your own terms.   It is swoon-worthy, to be sure.

Finally, the last incident in this grand trifecta of crowdom is my recent purchase of Wildwood by Colin Meloy with illustrations by Carson Ellis.  I’d had my eye on the book since I read the review in the NYT earlier in the year, but when I was perusing Amazon for Christmas gifts last night I again came across it and started reading the sample.  When I saw the first chapter was called “A Murder of Crows,” I smiled, sighed and was hooked.  Sometimes you just have to surrender to serendipity.  It arrives tomorrow.


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