Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Grand Canyon Ravens
While on my way to watch another sunset, there were lots of ravens hanging around the parking lot. One was sitting on a fence along the pathway to the rim. He seemed very unconcerned about people walking close to him . So, of course, I took some photos.
Up close they look very big and powerful. While on the ground they move around with short hops. Nothing like the graceful, playful, acrobats they are in the air as they float, dive, and swoop with ease and grace.
Ravens are very intelligent, curious birds. In many of the Native American cultures they are "Tricksters" and are known for their playful behavior. I spotted this one playing, or perhaps, investigating a plastic bag. The wind would blow it away from him and he would walk after it, pick it up and move it about with his beak before setting it down. The wind would again blow the bag away, and the whole scene would repeat itself. Hidding behind a car, so as not to disturb him, I got a MOVIE of him. If you want to know more about ravens, Bernd Heinrich, a biology professor at the University of Vermont, has written a couple books that are very interesting. You can also find informantion on web pages at DesertUSA and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
After raven watching, I was off to the rim to view another sunset.
Canyon Shadows below Cape Royal
The North Rim
Looking north east toward the Painted desert and the Navajo and Hopi lands. In the foreground is O'Neill Butte. Behind it on the left is Wotans Throne and to the right, Vishnu Temple.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, O'Neill Butte lights up like a beacon after the everything around it has given way to the darkness.
Soon it too was lost to light.
Finally only Wotans Throne remained in the last rays of the setting sun.
As streaks of oranges, reds and yellow lit up the western sky, the canyon surrendered to darkness, becoming a sea of black under a dome of stars.
Later that night, as I lay in bed, I could hear the cries of Coyotes in the distance. Piercing the night with their primal calls.