I Know Why A Group Of Crows Is Called A Murder – A Camping Saga

I went camping with the family last week. That meant three solid days off the grid, so things I would normally tweet didn’t get tweeted. Things like this:

We've successfully combined the elements. If it continues raining, we'll build an ark instead of a fire.

We’ve successfully combined the elements. If it continues raining, we’ll build an ark instead of a fire.

It rained excessively on Day 1, starting in the middle of the night and lasting until the following evening. Occasionally it would seem to let up, and we’d express our hope that it would, but another vicious downpour inevitably followed. After a while, it felt like a giant middle finger from Mother Nature.

Oh, you want to spend some time living in the forest? And you want to stay dry? That’s interesting. Heh heh. 

The umbrella sheltering the fire seemed like a good idea, until the smoke got caught in it and suffocated my dad.

The umbrella sheltering the fire seemed like a good idea, until the smoke got caught in it and suffocated my dad.

Yes, we constructed shelters and sat in the rain. Because camping, dammit.

Fortunately, Day 2 looked nothing like Day 1.

Pappap was so excited about the sunshine on Day 2, he tossed rocks on our tent at 6:30 and yelled for us to wake up.

Pappap was so excited about the sunshine on Day 2 that he stood outside our tent at 6:30 and yelled for us to wake up.

The grandfather-type alarm clock gave me flashbacks of high school.

Day 2 involved hiking and bike riding, and for me, editing. It also involved the hummingbird feeder that Pappap still had in his camper after many years.

There were a dozen hummingbirds around this feeder at times. We refilled it twice on Day 2.

There were a dozen hummingbirds around this feeder at times. We refilled it twice on Day 2.

Day 3 is where the title of this post comes in.

Imagine you’re bundled up tight in a mummy sleeping bag. The air is chilled, but you’re toasty warm. The sun is just starting to rise, so it’s around 5:30 in the morning. You’re sound asleep, until this happens right outside your tent:

CAW!! CAW!!

Except it’s that x8, because that’s how many noisy asshole crows are hanging out by the fire pit, squawking at each other.

crow-284492_1280Surely, they won’t keep that up for long, you think.

You think.

CAW!! CAW!! CAAAW!!

Now they’re having a the crow edition of American Idol. They’re freaking loud. You endure, because surely the crows will move on. There’s nothing they want here.

giggle

The giggle comes from the kid in the neighboring sleeping bag. The crow chorus has been going for about an hour by now.

“I know why a group of crows is called a murder,” you say to the kid. “Because I want to murder them.”

This results in more giggling.

CAW!! CAW!!

You fling yourself from the sleeping bag, hastily put on shoes, dart from the tent, and run towards the murder while flailing your arms and yelling. Know what the crows are doing as they fly off?

Cawing in celebration all the way to another campsite, where they continue their assholey crow behavior.

I don’t know what we did to deserve getting woken up by crows at 5:30 in the morning. Maybe they were jealous of the special treatment the hummingbirds received.

The good news is I went home later that day, so I got to leave the crow alarm behind and rejoin the land of rooftops and real beds and the Twitters while reflecting on what I learned:

1. You can intermingle fire and water.

2. Hummingbirds eat a LOT.

3. Crows are the YouTube comments section of nature.

The End.

9 thoughts on “I Know Why A Group Of Crows Is Called A Murder – A Camping Saga

  1. Pingback: Can Twitter Really Help An Author? A Beginner’s Guide | Allison Maruska

  2. I am always amazed when people are surprised by how fires can burn in the rain.. then I remind myself that not everyone grew up camping in the Pacific Northwest….
    Those Crows! That’s awesome.

    Like

  3. “I don’t know what we did to deserve getting woken up by crows at 5:30 in the morning.”

    Um, you went camping.

    I went camping once when I was a kid.

    Once.

    I’m not sure if my brothers and uncle dis-invited me from all future camping trips or if I dis-invited myself; it was a mutually agreed upon permanent separation. Even my dad was knew in advance what a debacle it was going to be. He smartly stayed home as my poor uncle tried to teach me about the great outdoors.

    It may have been the fact that the tent smelled a lot like urine, the lack of fish we caught in the picturesque stream (KFC, anyone?) or the heat wave that broiled us into heat strokes before the rains froze us into hypothermia; maybe it was the nonstop mosquitoes or the big snake we found in the urine-scented tent; maybe it was the poison ivy or the boredom, but it was the longest six house of my life. Yeah, you read that right. My Grizzly Adams brothers and Uncle folded the tent the next day. They’d had enough nonstop mosquitoes, too – although they went camping successfully for weeks at a time every summer thereafter. Like I said, I may have not been invited.

    I vacationed at the beach recently. Room service, sunny skies, cable TV and women in bathing suits everywhere. (You might not like that last one.)

    The beach: seashells, sunshine, warm sand, cool breezes.

    Also part of the great outdoors.

    Like

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