I kept snapping pictures, ignoring cars that were driving by, pretending I was comfortable being stared at, because Hey, this is my job, man... even though it's clearly not, at least not when I'm carrying only a point and shoot camera.
And as I clicked and clicked in the deepening twilight, I realized I was seeing something else in the sky.
Can you see them? If you click on the photo it will get bigger, although if you have sharp eyes you may be able to see what I'm talking about without enlarging it.
All those black dots that I'm hoping you're able to see are crows, and they were flying to a local roosting area. Every day in early evening, thousands of them come from all over to fly steadily in an overhead corridor until they've all reached their safe sleeping place, a wooded area off the highway.
This sight always gets my attention. There are just so many birds. They come in a steady stream for about thirty minutes as the sky darkens with the setting of the sun.
The first time I ever saw this phenomenon was about nine years ago. My father was in the hospital after his stroke, waiting for an opening in a nursing home. He was able to get around a little in a wheelchair and we had gone to one end of the hall to look out a large window at the pinkness of the early evening sky. We began to notice birds flying toward us and over the hospital.
On and on they came; it seemed there would never be an end to them. I can still see the black wings silhouetted against the rosy sky, wave after wave of crows, instinct driving them to gather for shelter as the day ended. Positioned on the top floor of the hospital, we had probably the best seat in the county from which to watch the spectacle.
It's a bittersweet memory, spent with my dear father as he struggled to adjust to his newly constricted life with hemiparalysis, yet filled with the beauty and wonder of nature and its creatures.
You'll find there is a short break in the stream of crows partway through the video, but things get busy again within fifteen seconds. You'll also hear the traffic going by, which is why the camera was aimed so high in the sky. At least none of the drivers got shouty at me, and don't worry, I was safely parked and not in their way.
If you want to read more about my father's stroke and paralysis, click here.
Happy weekend to all. I will return on Monday, and there WILL BE exclamation marks involved.