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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Challenge


Immature Common Raven, North American subspecies (Corvus corax principalis, or Northern Raven), Gualala, Sonoma Coast, California: photo by Ingrid Taylor, 24 June 2009

Took up residence two weeks back

in the great redwood

habitat church

defying traffic rocketing past

below -- the challenge

returned -- a couple --

creating a formidable

racket of their own --

from the upper branches


like black stones in the stream

then flapping up --

bickering with the morning

rush hour flow


Female adult Common Raven, North American subspecies (Corvus corax principalis): photo by Bombtime, 3 June 2007

Common Raven, North American subspecies (Corvus corax principalis), landing near a tent, Stovepipe Wells Campground, Death Valley National Park, California: photo by Wing-Chi Poon, 22 December 2004

Common Raven, North American subspecies (Corvus corax principalis), showing a pair of birds as friends, perching on top of a roof, Stovepipe Wells Campground, Death Valley National Park, California: photo by Wing-Chi Poon, 22 December 2004

A pair of Common Ravens, North American subspecies (Corvus corax principalis), Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah: photo by Marlin Harms, 18 October 2010

Group of Common Ravens, North American subspecies (Corvus corax principalis) at a landfill site, Western Mojave Desert: photo by William J. Boarman, 2003 (United States Geological Survey; image by Clayoquot, 2007)

File:Old NIKE Missile radar dome with ravens.JPG

Dilapidated Cold War-era NIKE Missile site radar dome with an unkindness of ravens (evening roost), near Eielson AFB, Alaska: photo by C. Goodwin, Junior, 29 January 2006 (image by Slant6guy, 2006)

Wooden carving of Kutkh, the Raven Spirit, made by Koryak artisans of Kamchatka: photo by Eliezg, 7 January 2008

File:Raven at the Headwaters of Nass hat 01.jpg

Raven at the Headwaters of Nass ceremonial hat
: Tlingit, c. 1810 (Seattle Art Museum; photo by Joe Mabel, 18 December 2008)




Hooray for the ravens -- "defying traffic," "descending like black stones in the stream/ then flapping up --"!
Solstice at 10:16 this morning, and it finally feels like summer. . . .


faint pink of cloud above still shadowed
plane of ridge, half moon next to branch
in foreground, waves sounding in channel

physical, on the other hand
at the same time still

flattened it like on a line,
but holding it, called

silver of low sun reflected in channel,
shadowed slope of ridge across from it

TC said...

Ah, me! Steve. How long can it last?

A. wonders if you are being grounded by the Great Shark Scare.

We imagine you as the forever young Marine God on the long board,

flattened it like on a line,

& c.

Lally said...

thanks for this one Tom. In recent years we have a band of parrots in our Jersey town. They make a tremendous racket, but the flashes of bright green and gray are like a minor miracle here. As are, for me, the ravens and grackles, robins and doves, sparrows and ducks and geese and the myriad winged creatures filling the trees and "river" (more like a creek) and sky making me happy to be alive to witness it all.

Anonymous said...

Nature celebrating life, in spite of traffic.

A bright tribute to ravens.

Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying this all this long (and it's still going strong) day, which began with an early in-and-out trip to Manhattan, definitely "bickering with the morning rush hour flow". The trip back to Pennsylvania was smooth, but the paired ravens still reminded me of Caroline and me alone without Jane all week, operating again as a duo. I think the first time I saw real ravens was during a visit to the Tower of London and seeing these guys (and the old Nike missile site) is really something.



"Ah, me!" indeed! "How long can it last?" not long at all -- the fog began to materialize in front of the ridge even before it was dark last night, and now is back with a vengeance (can't see the ridge, can almost not see the field in the foreground (can hear the birds however, beginning to call at first light). I had a crow sighting yesterday morning, or rather a pair of them, perched on telephone wire to the right of Smiley's when I was coming back from my paddle across the channel (made me think of your "Corvus corax principalis" here, in "The Challenge". No shark sightings here (by me, I mean), happily.
Meanwhile, working these last two days on digging out under the house before putting down moisture barrier and insulation -- no crawl space to speak of and hardly an entrance to get in there -- should have been done years ago, I know now, but here we are, and so it goes on. . . .


light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, birds beginning to call in field
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

picture filled with strokes
of pen, tonal addition

in hearing that, may happen,
matter that is telling

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
cloudless blue sky to the left of point

TC said...

Michael, Lucy, Curtis, Stephen, good to be watching the life of the skies with you.

The Common Raven is an incredibly adaptable and beautiful bird with remarkable tenacity and an unfair reputation for being an ill omen.

ghost girl said...

Oh, I love these! Thank you for posting

TC said...

Thank you, Shawna.

Ravens bring out the best in ghosts.