By Kathy Crabtree | Contributing Writer
At a house and raised patio on NE Ainsworth Boulevard, the side yard attracts a flock of crows. On further investigation, they seem to be enjoying pecking at food set out near a water basin where a few of the birds are drinking and splashing. Kathy Donohoe, standing on the porch, explains that she feeds them every morning. She is aware that a lot of people dislike crows. “Mostly because of their loud screeching, especially when [they’re] together as a flock in trees near the homes of sleeping residents,” she explains.
After her dog died, Donohoe found herself caring for an injured crow. “He had a hurt leg and hung out around the patio, waiting for scraps; I called him Hopper and started feeding him, and his friends joined him. It wasn’t long before I got into a routine of feeding them all every morning. But he hung around after the other crows went about their business. My mailman at the time, Ron, would watch for him, too. He said the other crows seemed to know I was taking care of the injured one.”
She and a few of her neighbors would gather on her patio to visit while enjoying the crows in the yard. “We started calling the patio The Crow’s Nest, and eventually, we acquired a collection of crow memorabilia, so we called our group The Old Crows.” When questioned about her continued fondness, Donohoe admitted to having a special place in her heart for the birds.
“After Ron found Hopper lifeless on the boulevard, the other crows still expected to be fed, but they left me a gift.” One morning, Donohoe found a rusted heart-shaped ornament on the Crow’s Nest table. The ornament now sits on the porch in a place of honor. “It’s a gift from the crows not only in gratitude for the food, but in honor of Hopper and my care for him.”
A few of The Old Crows group met over the holidays: Rosemary, Toni, and Theresa were invited by Donohoe to share their Valentine’s stories. When the discussion turned to love, Rosemary and Kathy shared their affinity for “bad boys,” back in the day. Toni talked about the importance of family and a mother’s celebration making Valentine’s Day special. Theresa shared that her definition of love is being a team, having each other’s back and being there for each other.
The Old Crows agreed, “It’s about finding a best friend.”
Kathy is a 65-yearold Nancy Drew wannabe, retired lawyer, and judge.