Death in a Graveyard (and it’s all Sandy’s fault)

I know this is a tech blog, and I always try to stay on topic, but this storm continues to pull us all in so many directions ….

As I ventured out today, I brought my iPhone, and so (it’s a stretch 🙂 ) all pics are iPhone-pics, and iPhone pics = blog material. Right? Right!

I decided to “escape” and go for a walk in one of my favorite spots in the Fall…. a cemetery that is hilly with many old stately trees. Colorful and gorgeous.

I expected some damage, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw: death in the graveyard (I’ll explain at the end of this post)

Of course, Sandy didn’t leave anyplace untouched. I counted 8 glorious trees crashed to the ground. Many trees broken and torn. How sad.

And as I walked, I was TOTALLY startled to see this:

Around the downed treetop were dozens of dead crows! Look around the headstones in the picture, above. Do you see all those crows?

Were they nesting in the tree?
When the storm blew the tree down, couldn’t the crows just fly away?
Why did they all die when it fell?
Can anyone explain this to me?


52 thoughts on “Death in a Graveyard (and it’s all Sandy’s fault)

  1. Was there lightning during the storm? I have seen similar deaths caused when a tree was struck. How about a power line nearby? It IS freaky to look at, but I’ll bet there is an explanation that makes sense, even if we can’t see it. And btw, it IS possible for them to have been tangled in the tree branches when if fell, especially if it were a very big flock. It might just be these are the ones who couldn’t get out of the tangle fast enough. But my best guess is lightning, even if it wasn’t a big feature of the storm. I’ve certainly heard it during hurricanes. So sad about all those beautiful trees, too. I HATE when a tree dies. Thanks for the pictures. iPhone pictures, that is. (That’s enough of a connection for me, anyway.)

    • I think you are on to something, here. We can absolutely eliminate the power line. This tree went down deep deep in the cemetery far, far from any electricity. I think we can eliminate lightening, too, since I did not witness any and I’ve not heard a single report of that. BUT … the idea of them getting tangled, well… yes… that does make sense. The winds were vicious. I can picture a tree full of crows. And when the tree slammed down, a good portion of the crows who were all sitting in the ‘wrong’ place, would get slammed down, too. Good thinking! 🙂 Bad luck for them to choose this particular tree.

  2. A Dog With Fleas says:

    How sad and creepy. And I agree…they may have got tangled. And those winds were beyond ferocious, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they did not have the strength to fly away.

  3. very sad and scary, i hope the trees will be replaced and nurtured in the rehabilitation after Sandy, and let’s hope there were many other crows who escaped …

  4. Sad sad pictures. Magnificent trees like that are irreplaceable – a real heartbreak, and so are the dead birds. Poor America has had such a battering, and we are all very much with you.

    • “Magnificent” is exactly the right word to describe these beauties. They are the reason I enjoy walking, there. The trees are huge, and glorious. Of course, as I sit here writing and moaning about the trees, my TV is showing continuous images of the ongoing horror in so so many communities. Makes me feel a bit guilty about complaining about trees, but I think it is all part of the ‘big picture’.

      • You weren’t complaining about the trees – you were telling us! I always feel that a house can be rebuilt, but a tree takes hundreds of years to grow- so yes, they are a tragedy in their own right

  5. What an eerie scene…the graveyard. Animals are so vulnerable.
    I am looking at some pictures of before and after. Unbelievable.

    I don’t own any kind of smart or cell phone (you know that). Should have one. But every time I look in stores, I get so confused. And so $. I never or rarely talk on the regular phone except when someone calls a wrong #.

    I do a lot of talking to myself. 🙂

    • I understand your thought about “I don’t use my phone that much”. However, that is not the line of thinking you want to follow. The “phone” part of the phone is absolutely the part of the phone I use the least!!! It is SO MUCH more. It’s about having a computer in your pocket. Internet access. Reminders. Calendar. Timers. Clocks. Flashlight. Camera. Video camera. eReader. Audio-book listening device … and so on…
      You know what? I think I’ll do a blog post about this. Lot’s of people I know think exactly what you said. But really and truly, it enhances our lives. It would be a great product without the phone part. (actually they make that. iPod touch is an iPhone without the phone). Watch for the MeMe-inspired blog post next week!

  6. Years ago when I had a normal life, I let my dog out the back door. I heard him barking excitedly so I went to see what was up. I had a beautiful maple tree — huge; beautiful leaves; such a blessing — and he was sniffing around it, barking and acting strange. I went over there and saw some dead birds — just regular little grey birds. I went inside to get some trash bags — plastic ones to cover my hands and paper ones to put the dead bodies in. This really grossed me out, but I couldn’t take the chance Max would try to eat them or play with them or whatever. I just saw a few, but once I started picking up the bodies — first time I’d touched anything dead, so I was pretty squeamish about it — I began counting them because there were so many!! I counted 25 dead little birds all around the base of the maple tree on the west side!! I have NO idea what happened to them!! We did have a rain the day before, but it was just a normal rain — no tornado, no high winds, no lightning or thunder. There was no blood to show they were wounded/shot/fatally injured. I wondered if for some reason they drowned?!? Still to this day I have no explanation. Seeing those crows brought back that memory.

    I agree with the person above who said it was Halloween-y. That was my first thought. Poor birds!! I know people suffer greatly when bad things happen to our planet and they are the ones with whom we should have the most compassion and sympathy. Still, being an animal lover — especially of dogs — my heart always goes out to the animals, especially to people’s pets who get lost or separated from their human families. They’ve got to be terrified!!

    Thank you for sharing all of this with us — all your posts about the storm and what you went through!!


    • Oh my goodness! Your bird story is a true mystery. We know the hurricane was responsible for the crows, even though we don’t understand exactly how, but your birds….. wow… no wonder you are puzzled!! Thanks for sharing that story!

    • Now gasoline has turned into a huge problem. Lines are forming that are miles (yes, miles) long, and people are running out of gas for their generators. Power is returning slowly, but people are cold. Wherever you go, people are sharing stories. And now…. it seems a Nor’easter is being called for next week! That would be cruel.

      • I just watched the news and have heard about this new storm and the gas situation. The Red Cross seems to be the place to give money to right now. Hope it gets to those who need it most.

  7. Wow, that is crazy! That tree completely uprooted….and I have no idea about the crows. They must not have been able to fly away. That is so crazy….that is quite a few crows lying there.

  8. The crows, that does cause speculation. I’m wondering, why JUST the crows? Why not bunches of little gray birds, or blue birds, etc. it seems like more than one type of bird would nest in a tree of that size. So weird. I’m not sure that many people ever take the time to notice or write about the small casualties in the way you have. Maybe this happens all the time in major storms, and nobody focussed on it. I can’t even fathom all the devastation that we are seeing about this storm. So sorry for EVERY ONE of you, and all your crows.

    • This storm has been jaw-dropping, especially considering the distances involved. In my town alone, 5 days after the storm hit, there are many trees still lying in the streets, blocking and detouring traffic, traffic lights out, property damage, wires askew, thousands without power. Duplicate this throughout the Northeast…. it is astounding. Fortunately we (my area) didn’t suffer the flooding of the NYC metro area, but we are feeling the impact, because our commuters can’t get to work, etc.
      But I love how you talked about the small casualties. You are so right. I’ve heard lot of stories of sea life that got pummeled at the shore. A shark showing up in a neighborhood. And …(don’t even want to thing about this….. ) Rats in NYC displaced with the flooded subways and heading off above ground!

      • Your descriptions are magnificent, but terribly sad because they are real. I’m assuming that you have power, food, water, heat, and gas. Rats! Fleeing the ship. The destruction is overwhelming. ML

  9. I wanted to tell you about a radio programme I heard the other day, and on it was an article about a lot of dead birds at the base of a tree, it turned out when they examined them and did blood tests that they had all died of alcohol poisoning, as they had feasted on over ripe and rotting fruit that was laying on the ground under the tree. Maybe this was the case with these crows…..

    • That is very interesting. They all got poisoned! My my. In my case, it was probably a smack down as the tree slammed to the ground during the storm. But I am fascinated at the poison fruit info. I thought that animals had kind of a ‘sixth sense’ about that kind of thing? And that they wouldn’t eat things that would hurt them? I guess not! 🙂

  10. Daniela says:

    This is such a sad, sad sight … dead crows in the graveyard, almost an opening for a horror story! I also love old cemetery’s and have one not far from my place I often visit for a quite walk and contemplation.

    Take Care,

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