I live in a small, intimate apartment complex...hidden, actually. It's situated next to a wide irrigation ditch, lush with trees like maples, box-elders, mountain ash, plums, and cherry.
I have the choicest of eight apartments. I am damned lucky. My apartment is such that it has its own set of stairs and its own landing. The only reason anyone need climb these stairs is to enter my apartment. This means the walk, the stairs, and this landing have become my territory to do with as I please. And I've done plenty. I have 3 benches along the walk, in addition to several planters crowded with impatiens and lobelia. There are also bright flowers potted on each step coming up to my door.
This area of the yard is somewhat cut off from the rest of the apartment complex...making it private. And while no one could call it exclusively mine, people do not casually venture into this area. This makes it a perfect refuge for many animals already attracted to the water, fruit, and foliage - racoons, chipmunks, geese, ducks, squirrels, mice, finches, magpies, sparrow hawks, crows, the odd deer, and one lone canary who's survived a single winter, so far.
One of the box-elder trees reaches very close to my "porch." Squirrels climb to the edge and leap to the railing here. And there's one crow who will come to the edge of the tree and coo at me.
Today while standing on my porch, enjoying the rain, I was cooing back to this crow who seems to have taken to me. While I was standing there, she hopped from the tree on to the railing! And then tentatively cawed at me. It was a quiet noise...for a crow. Taking care not to move, and as calmly as I could, I said "hello," using the coo-coo singsong tone she uses. So then she clucked at me, and then a single, kmpll coo...followed by more soft clucking...she walked sideways on the railing getting to within 6 inches of me, then blinked a few times. Then as she lifted off the railing, she made a louder single caw. Not an alarm caw...more a single cawww. She landed on the ground below, and proceeded to nibble on a piece of bread I'd tossed out earlier... she picked up the bread, and flew back into the tree she'd left in the first place, and her baby joined her there...sharing her bread...
I didn't move for another 10 minutes for fear I'd startle her. I'm totally blown away.