And there was another stunning twist to the ravens' tale.
We went out at 7 a.m. It was just light, it was quite cold (2 Centigrades). There was some fog, rather than just thin early morning mist - and we had the first grass frost.
Madame enjoyed rolling in the frosty grass, she loves to throw herself down and roll in it every five yards or so.
I didn't see any of the usual dog walkers this time - far too early for the time of year.
To my utter surprise, the ravens came swooping from the trees at the footpath, into the big field, as if to meet us! This time the timid one came first, the bold one later.
How do I know which was which?
Because when I threw the first scraps, the first raven waited for the second, the bold one, to hop across and take it!
They followed us into the raven field - it was difficult to keep Madame quiet, so she got a few scraps as well. I prefer feeding them in the fenced-in plot, but they do like following us around in the open field as well, so I do give them some scraps.
I observed the same food-storing behaviour as before.
I also noted that even when they are behind the fence, they are still wary enough not to approach too closely, that would be about a couple of feet or less away from me. They also seem to prefer me turning my back on them, as if they'd rather pick up the scraps unobserved.
As we finished our walk, we could hear croaking and squawking coming from across the allotments, from Pontcanna Fields. Both ravens took off in that direction, and we walked towards the tennis-court side of the spinney.
Now I confess, I'm puzzled.
Are they waiting for me and Madame, personally, as it were? Or do they now think any person plus Border Collie is going to feed them? (Which wouldn't be so good ...!)
Do they prefer the earlier time - because there are fewer people and dogs around?
Two things I can do:
1) go out at 7 a.m. again, tomorrow - provided its not chucking it down with rain;
2) ask Marianne if she now has raven encounters as well - and ask Karen, too (she's got Bas). If they do - note what they have observed.
One other thing: Wednesday I'll be going to the Cathedral in the morning, after our walk. Its John's birthday, and I want to put some flowers on that spot in the Garden of Remembrance.
On the way back, I'll try and see if the ravens will come just for me: different time, no Madame ... that ought to help clear up what it is that they note, remember and that makes them come for scraps. I'll take a few scraps with me, and the camera - as always, weather permitting!