Soon, Very Soon

Last Sunday I hiked the Vondergreen Trail at Beaver Creek State Park near East Liverpool, Ohio. 

The trail follows Little Beaver Creek as it cuts through the surrounding hills.  Along the way there are remnants of the channel and locks of the Sandy and Beaver Canal that ran for 73 miles through 90 locks and two tunnels from Bolivar, Ohio to the Ohio River at Glasgow, Pennsylvania.

Completed in 1848, 20 years after it was chartered, the canal operated for only four years.  It closed in 1852 after the Cold Run Reservoir Dam broke and ruined much of the canal.  By then competition from the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad made it uneconomical to rebuild.  The canal boom ended abruptly.

At Grey’s Lock I stopped to read the historic marker but I didn’t absorb what it said because my attention was snagged by the sound of crows.  Just out of sight, they were flying my way.  150 passed overhead and congregated somewhere on the north side of the creek, still within earshot. 

That flock is just the start of something big.

Right now the crows are gathering in the countryside.  150 here, 200 there.  Some have made it to town, but no great numbers yet.

Soon, very soon, the crows will come to Pittsburgh.  By winter we could have 10,000!

(photo from

6 thoughts on “Soon, Very Soon

  1. Kate, Meg and I have had about 100 crows in both morning and evening this week, at our home in Forest Hills (Allegheny County). Indeed, the flocking has started.

  2. The crows have been spending their summer in Glenshaw. There was lots of nois when the kids started to leave the nest and they are still there as of Tuesday this week.

  3. The towpath — where visible — is just a hiking/horseriding trail. Sometimes the towpath apprears to be completely gone. I think the flood when the dam broke in 1852 was quite severe.

  4. Evening of October 18 and morning of October 19, Tony Bledsoe reported on PABIRDS:

    “Last night (Oct. 18th, 2011) at my home in Forest Hills Borough, Allegheny County, my wife and I counted slightly over 1,000 American Crows flying to roost, headed NNE, over our house at dusk. This morning, on the University of Pittsburgh campus in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, there were approximately 500 crows roosting in the sycamores around the Clapp-Langley-Crawford complex. They were noisy as they started to leave the roost, and I was lucky to dodge the “rain” they produced as they left. As Kate St. John predicted about a week ago, they’re now back.

    Tony Bledsoe”

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