Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yes, it's Ravens again.

Just as I  began to think I'd never get a chance to do any kind of art again, a whole weekend opened up and everything fell into place. I love it when that happens.

Most weekday mornings, I take a beautiful drive along the lake to pick up my daughter and because I'm either driving or don't have my camera, or I don't have batteries for my camera or it's full and can't take anymore photos, I miss all these opportunities to take photos.

The lake is very narrow and deep so that it takes a lot of wind to disturb it and you don't usually see waves or anything but ripples, but one evening as I was dropping her off, there was the perfect combination of elements to make a stunning photo.  The water was a perfect mirror reflecting the shore with all the hidden cottages and rocky bluffs and the sun was setting so it was at an almost horizontal angle making it highlight everything in a surreal way.  I hadn't seen anything like it (that hadn't been photo shopped) so I pulled off into a lane leading up to the park, only to find a handful of other people had done the same and were standing in awe and amazement.   Unfortunately, once again, I had no camera and home was too far to go fetch one.  I keep hoping I'll see it up on the internet or something from somebody else.

Well, all that long story to say, I never catch great things with my camera and I've come to the conclusion, that is why I draw.  Now about the ravens... every morning I used to walk my dog.  It was just before work and so always around the same time.   Every morning, I would hear a flock of ravens fly overhead.  They came from the mountains to the East and flew directly overhead to the Southwest  I noticed it even more when I saw them return every evening the opposite way.  Then one day, I had to take a load of leaves and debris to the city dump and recycle place and there they were.

They were circling over the area where they dumped the city garbage.  Then it occurred to me that in the morning when I saw them heading Southwest, they were heading off to work.  They spend the day looking for food and in the evening, return to their nesting sites, just like we do.  It's quite comical and kind of reassuring at the same time to think about them having to go to work too.  I've watched what was obviously the younger ones play around, diving and chasing each other, being silly, while the older ( much bigger and some with feathers missing) are more sedate.

I feel like I have a relationship with these particular birds because when we first moved here, I was homesick and it was something familiar and reassuring to see and hear them.  There were just a few of them around town but unfortunately they began to make noise early in the morning.  I'd hear them and think about the large numbers of senior citizens in the area who don't sleep so well and probably didn't appreciate the noise.  Sure enough within a few weeks, locals had convinced the right person in government that they were not to be tolerated and they began shooting them.

I was horrified and it really changed my opinion not only of the area but the attitude of the town.  Over the years I kept an ear open to hopefully hear one or two and although it took about five years they did come back, only now they just fly over the town.  They live high in the mountains and avoid entering it completely.
Ravens live a long time, up to 40years in captivity, so I can imagine the surviving ones have passed on the knowledge that this town is to be avoided.

At any rate, these paintings are my tribute to these wonderful, often misunderstood  and very intelligent birds

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