Raven Creates the World

August 31, 2011


This time of year I am usually on a plane headed for the Pacific Northwest. For various reasons, we weren't able to make our usual work/vacation trek out west. It's strange how my body and mind seem to know that I am supposed to be there right now. It knows I am supposed to be listening for ravens and looking for orcas. I love flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest so much that I get a little wacky when I can't be around it at least once a year. Hopefully, the next time I go it will be with my daughter. I have fantasies about taking the ferry from Anacortes to the San Jauns with her and my husband, and pointing out orcas, dolphins and harbor seals to her. Taking hikes on Orcas while telling Isabel that the croaking call that she hears echoing throughout the hills and towering stands of cedar is that of the raven, and then explaining that the raven created the world and is a bit of a trickster.

7 comments:

  1. When we lived in northern coastal British Columbia the ravens used to fly up to the ridge pole of our house. Early in the morning. They would have rocks in their beaks. They would drop the rocks and the rocks would roll down the roof and BANG hit the rain gutters. If they were going for extra points they would try and get the rock to go down the rain spout and roll out into the yard. Made an especially long clanging and banging.

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  2. That's quite an early morning wake up call! Nutty corvids...

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  3. I completely understand. I am from a spot near Vancouver but I've been living in Montreal for a few years and I get terrible bouts of homesickness. I plan to move back eventually but in the meantime I do have to soak up as much as I can during visits. Your raven is lovely : )

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  4. I love this! I seem to recall telling you my raven story from when I worked on Mt. Rainier. Maybe not. Anyway, the Raven Creates the World tale has a lot of meaning to me.

    Have you ever seen Gary Houston's Raven Steals the Sun print? It's fantastic!

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  5. And for more corvid trickster fun read this little tale from Merrymeeting Audubon's newsletter (sorry for the length)

    I usually feed a local crow family with bread scraps. Last summer a friend donated a rock hard loaf of French bread.
    Deciding it was beyond any crow’s gastronomic reach, I put it on the edge of the field next to the ocean. Looking out
    about half an hour later, I noticed that a large Herring Gull had landed and was leaning over toward the French bread.
    Two crows, unnoticed by the Gull, were slowly approaching from behind. Each time the gull leaned forward toward the
    bread, one of the crows would also lean forward and tweak its tail. When the startled gull turned around, both crows ap-
    peared to be absently gazing skyward, almost as if they had their wings in their pockets. After repeating this sequence a
    few times, the disconcerted Herring Gull gave up on the bread and flew off. The crows quickly moved in and together
    polished off the loaf.

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  6. Beautiful post Diana and wonderful illustration! I know exactly how you must feel about the Pacific Northwest! I'm so sorry you can't be there this year. Your daughter is going to have lots of wonderful years ahead to discover this magical area with you herself!

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  7. Thank you! Yes, I know I have some good times with Isabel up ahead.

    Psychlops: I do recall your raven story! It was amazing. And I have read about behavior of the sort exhibited by the crows with the gull, but never heard any specific story like that. Impish monkey birds!

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