Wednesday, November 4, 2020

~ Grackles ~ Ravens ~ Crows ~ An Autumn Table

November has arrived, and I for one am 
savoring the colors and textures of autumn.
Blackbirds have always fascinated me, and this
fall tabletop post is a nod to those intriging creatures.

There are so many grackles in Austin, that some
consider them the unofficial mascot of the city.

Known for their iridescent feathers and long tail, these noisy birds
often roost in large numbers in trees, creating a cacophony of squawks.
Not what one wants outside their bedroom window!

Perched on outdoor fountains or walking about tables, if one
is dining outdoors here in Austin, grackles are likely there with you.
These aggressive birds are so brazen they may hop right
up onto the table and help themselves to something off your plate.

With fall and the hordes of pumpkins that arrive at local stores 
and garden centers, you are sure to see grackles perched about,
their piercing golden eyes daring you to help yourself to a pumpkin.

They walk about squawking, 
"Caw, Caw!  Caw, Caw!"

Crows are twice as large as grackles, but not often seen in the city.
Their feathers are a true black, as are their beaks and feet.
As one might expect, the resident crow here at Hyacinths for the Soul
proudly wears Courtly Check breast feathers 
and a crown upon his head.

Beautiful crisp air and sunny skies called to me and 
inspired a November table on the terrace.
Fortunately no grackles joined us.

One of our local flower farms sells these beautiful plum sunflowers.
I'm drawn to the gorgeous depth of color and 
how they reflect the feel of autumn .

These Creative Co Op plates were spied while on a 
hill country day trip with girlfriends summer 2019.
They are the perfect fall touch for lunch on the terrace.

I paired them with MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check chargers atop ruffled burlap placemats, all to set them apart from the wonderful block-print details of the MacKenzie-Childs Vendage table linen.
Gray and yellow plaid napkins, rattan napkin rings with yellow beads,
 our Christofle Talisman silver flatware ~ each offer texture and continue the compliment to the rich colors of Ventage.

Real grackle feathers gathered from our garden
with a few fallen leaves add organic touches of nature.

One of our favorite refreshing drinks is 
Fentimans Mandarian and Seville Orange Jigger.
Have you tried it?

Fly on over and join me on the terrace.
The sun is shining, but there is a nip in the air.

We are enjoying perfect autumn days in Austin.

If you are so inclined, an older post here shares some crow 
inspired vignettes and an interesting Native American Legend about crows that I shared each year when I was teaching.

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Grackles are beautiful birds -- oh, when the sun hits them just right! Fabulous color. And so, too, is your table. It's very dramatic but loads of fun!

  2. Glad you are enjoying perfect autumn days in Austin. We got lucky with the perfect weather, and will be dining outdoors on Friday evening. Your table on the terrace is delightful! I'll have to look for that beverage. Enjoy your week Sarah.

  3. Sarah, Your table is something to crow about! I just saw a large flock of grackles yesterday in the field next my shed. I adore your beautiful sunflowers, urn and gorgeous tablecloth! Those burlap placemats make the perfect flower rays framing your CC and crow plates. Enjoy this beautiful weather. ♥

  4. Beautiful colors in your setting! Our weather this weekend will be perfect for being outdoors and I imagine it will be the end of it - rare weather in Nov for us! Enjoy dining on your terrace!

  5. Now Sarah, your setting is definitely something to CROW about!! I adore those crow plates and your pretty flatware. As always, you’ve set a beautiful table. I’d love to join you!

  6. More crows that grackles here..and boy are they annoying..gratefully they seem to have found anew area to annoy the last 10 yrs;)Sunflowers and Courtly Checks♥

  7. The very name - “GRACKLE” - gives me the willies!!!!!!!!!!! We have them in abundance here in the Kansas City area, and they can be fierce. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of the way these birds’ reign of terror. Ugh!🥺 Your table is how I think of fall: abundant, colorful, fresh, and beautiful.

  8. Grackles, oh my, new to me. Love your lovely setting for two outdoors. How fun to find that plates and of course the MKC crow. Sunflowers are so pretty and such a happy flower. I have those burlap placemats and the MKC tablecloth. A pleasure seeing this pretty tablescape.

  9. What a wonderful table. Your plates would be a welcome addition to my table today as it, too, has black birds.

  10. Such a fun post Sarah! Of course you would have a crow with a Courtly Check chest!! Crows fascinate me too, we have them all over the place in the fall. Cute cute tablescape!

  11. These plates are awesome! Such a natural and beautiful table for outdoors. I love the crow with the crown, you always have something whimsical. I have a few straw-like quails and they have scared my grands to death!!

    Jane x

  12. Such a beautiful post Sarah. We see the grackles on occasion and there are so many of them. I don't like them, noisy and messy in my yard. I don't care for crows either, except your lovely Courtley Childs fellow, quite handsome. The place are gorgeous and the color is perfect for autumn lunches. Haven't tried Fentimans here but I will look for it. Wish I could join you on your lovely terrace, the weather sounds perfect! Have a wonderful weekend.

  13. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn


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