I don’t like grocery shopping. At all. But Alison is even busier than usual this time of year, so it has been my lot of late to be dodging cars in parking lots and carts in narrow aisles. No fun at all.
This morning’s expedition was better, though. As I stepped out of the car, senses alert, a big black bird flew across low: a common raven. No longer rare, no longer unexpected, this species is always great to see, especially in the urban wilds of northern New Jersey.
But here’s my dilemma.
Brookdale Park is just two blocks from our local Shoprite (grocery store names!), and the tops of its tall old oaks and tulips dominate the view to the west. Which is where this morning’s raven came from.
Brookdale happens to be the only site for which I am keeping careful lists nowadays. And I’ve been expecting a common raven to show up.
But I can’t “count” this one for the park. Neither the bird nor I was in or over Brookdale at the time of the sighting, so the gap in the list remains.
Silly, yes. Arbitrary, yes. But it wouldn’t be a game if it didn’t have rules.