Friday, September 17, 2021

An Unkindness Of Ravens

as it's called when ravens gather. And the other week, gather they did. 

I don't know why they decided to hold a conference in my backyard. This time of year, I see the young ones flying in large groups, sort of like teenagers discovering their world. But I've never seen a large group land and stay in one place, like these birds did. 

Taking pictures with my phone doesn't capture what I actually saw. But it made me take out my real camera and dust it off. We'll see what happens with that project.

Ravens are present in the Bible, and in so many mythologies -- Norse, Celtic, Native American and others. In the Bible,  the raven was the first bird Noah sent out to look for land; in the Norse sagas, a raven sat on each of Odin's shoulders; in some Native American tribes, particularly in the North West, the raven is the creator of light; while in other Native American cultures, he's a trickster. 

Ravens are also believed to be harbingers of news, from the cosmos to the battlefield. From the battlefield, they were thought to bring messages of death.

Ravens are also highly intelligent. My neighbor Bob has trained our local couple to sit next to Joyce's dogs. The ravens do this because he rewards them with horse treats, goodies the ravens quickly figured out should not be wasted on horses. 


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