Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On Crows and Creation

Isn't this the coolest picture? I have some animal art cards and this raven card sort of jumped out at me as I was going through them yesterday.

I think I'll make a wall-hanging based on the design. I spent part of last night sketching it out. The only thing I changed was the branch the bird was sitting on. In my design it curves up and over to frame the bird, which is overlooking a distant river and mountain.

This one will take a while, but I think it will be worth it when it's finished. I'll have to go through all my fabrics and see what will work best. I've got an idea in my mind of what I want to use.

Black cord for the raven. A brown cord or cotton for the tree. Green or tan for the distant mountain. But the fabrics won't be plain. They'll have some sort of texture reminenscent what they're becoming. The field in the foreground in front of the river - I have a piece of fabric to lay on the bias so it looks like rows.

We don't have ravens here, just lots American crows and jays, which are in the same Corvidae family. I've taken in a few injured crows over the years - but not many. They're too crafty to get hurt. They don't look like much from a distance, but close up their black feathers irridescent whenever light hits them just so. And they're quite intelligent. I had one who used to bang his food dish against the bars of his cage when it was empty, like an inmate in a prison cell.

But even though they are smart, ravens and crows but they have their dark side, too. They mercilessly harrass birds of prey and years ago killed a nearby falconer's hawk that got its jesses hung in a tree. There was really nothing anyone could do.

I've worked with birds of prey for years and years, and experience has taught me never to release one - like this little red-shouldered hawk I took in last year - where there are a lot of crows about. If you do they'll mob it to death before it can get its bearings. This is especially the case for smaller, more skittish hawks. Larger hawks are equally harrassed, but from a safe distance.

Owls fare even better. Rather than fly away and ecourage the crows to chase them, they'll just hunker down and wait the crows out unless it gets unbearable. Little screech owls, like this pretty little gray-phased one who spent three weeks here recovering from getting dinged by a car, usually escape crows' attention, although songbirds worry them a bit.

One can't really be angry at the crows for being crows. They're only trying to rid the world as what they perceive as a threat to their offspring. But they do seem to take a certain glee in chasing raptors that I've always found disconcerting.

But still I can't help but to like the black-cloaked fiends. Despite their malicous mob mentality, there's something in the stark simplicity and wildness of ravens and crows that I find poingnant and even beautiful.

They remind me that pain and discord are natural threads in the tapestry of life - and are as worthy of existence as things peaceful and pretty.

1 comment:

laughingwolf said...

learned more of your big heart, morg, and you way with critters :)