Home NEWS Local Scene Monday Morning Dispatch: Crashes And Crows And Suburban Mirages

Monday Morning Dispatch: Crashes And Crows And Suburban Mirages


Beautiful morning here in the 24/680 and our crew was up early, pedaling through the breaking gloam to reach our assigned positions (good lad, Chris) or taking a moment to hand-water the basil plants in our newsroom Victory Garden.

Morning traffic was hit hard by a crash involving a motorcycle in Brentwood around 6:41 a.m. and responding agencies dialed up a Calstar helicopter to ferry the injured rider to John Muir Hospital. The CHP People initiated a SigAlert for the area to allow the chopper in – but which also stopped traffic pretty much dead for a crucial half hour or so, and if you make that trip you know it doesn’t take much to bog things down.

The freeway is open now (8:10 a.m.), the rider is talking and traffic is flowing again – which is either a good thing or bad depending on your point of view. Everyone take care out there today, please, we’ve written about the current state of our state highways and byways and we don’t want to see any more casualties if we can help it.

Whilst moving around the garden this morning we had occasion to (smell the roses, yes, did that, too) carry on a conversation with a murder of crows landing on our fence lines to watch the activity and comment in their own very special way. We like to “chat” with various animal species who visit us on a regular basis and always enjoy our conversations, as do our neighbors who no doubt gain great pleasure from videotaping our interaction with our animal pals.

Nothing has turned up on YouTube thus far so we guess they keep the vids for their own amusement and that’s cool. Apparently, however, a neighbor in San Ramon was also watching a group of these very intelligent, extremely vocal birds this morning when a neighbor slid open a door and let fly with a BB/pellet gun – bringing one of the crows down into the observer’s yard, seriously wounded.

Our resident bird populations have suffered at our hands in America over the years and if you doubt that ask yourself when was the last time you saw a Passenger Pigeon – so we are chagrined whenever we hear of someone defying our Semi-Rural Armistice with the local critter population and opening fire on them. Apparently, the authorities were notified.

We also continue to see examples of “Suburban Mirages” pop up in the 24/680 – instances where folks think they are seeing something out there they are not. This has been brought home recently by a case of mobile “child abuse” which turned out to be a parent struggling with a recalcitrant safety seat, a “violent struggle with someone hurt and moaning” which turned out to be, yes, a couple caught flagrante delicto in the act of love, and multiple instances of people with “weapons” (walking sticks, cell phones, water bottles) as well as the more and more common “inappropriate contact with a child” which, in one recent case, turned out to a father capturing video of his child while she played on a swing.

It’s totally understandable that folks are watchful and on guard and – hypervigilant ourselves – we understand the proclivity. We would merely suggest folks do a little neighborly investigation on their own before calling in the cavalry on a mere suspicion. It might help keep your neighbors from having to explain their bedroom habits to an unblinking officer there to see if someone was being murdered.

And don’t shoot crows. Or other critters either. Please.



  1. Common sense people. Either you have it or you don’t. I understand “if you see something say something” but don’t take it to the extreme. Let people live their lives, and learn to mind you own business. Unfortunately, there will always be people in the world who over react to every situation.

  2. Killing a corvid is very poor form, and only proves one to be an ignorant brute. Rest the poor souls, both of them.

  3. “Dr. Livingstone, I presume”.
    Thank god we still have journalists wearing the woolen knee socks here in the 24-680!!

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