Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Crows of November

For some reason I always notice the crows in November. Of course, they are around all year, but somehow their gatherings are more noticeable in the bleak barren trees of late fall. Maybe they are more obvious, reeling and cawing against the gray sky. Or maybe their chattering and varied vocalizations are easier to hear without the muting of dense tree leaves.
I have always been fascinated by crows. They are remarkably intelligent and their social behaviors are complex and often human-like. Thus they play a significant role in the culture and mythology of peoples worldwide, from bearers of omens to minor gods.
Recently, ravens have moved onto our hilltop as well. These are much larger and more impressive than the crows. They are also very intelligent, maybe more so than the crows,(and hold a higher status in cultural myth.) It will be interesting to observe how the ravens and crows get along in the coming years.
A few weeks ago I was walking along the road when I heard a loud beating swoosh coming up from behind me. I cringed, as if a giant pterodactyl was about to carry me off. But looking up, I saw two huge ravens flying a few feet overhead. The pair was wingtip-to-wingtip as they flew purposefully down the road. It was quite a sight to see, and well worth the start.
I have been sketching and photographing crows and ravens, and expect them to appear on future works.

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