Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Delicate Arch and a Raven
Many years ago, while traveling around the Four Corners I had a chance to visit Arches National Park. This had been a dream of mine ever since I had read Edward's Abbey's Desert Solitaire. His descriptions of the park at that time, the late 50's, and his time there, went deep into my psyche My journey there was almost like a pilgrimage. It was early October, the best time of year in my opinion, to visit southeast Utah. The skies were clear and the days warm, while the nights had a slight chill. Perfect weather for the 1.5 mile slickrock hike to Delicate Arch.
Delicate Arch is one of the most famous landmarks of the Four Corners and Utah. Looking like the the legs of a bow-legged cowboy, it's massive frame balanced on the edge of a slickrock bowl, the arch is nothing like its name. Landscape Arch is more delicate compared to the muscle like shape of Delicate Arch which seems firmly rooted to the ground upon which stands.
There is also nothing delicate about the number of visitors Arches National Park gets. If you go there don't expect to be alone. Like all the well known sites in the southwest, it is visited to distraction by people from all over the world. It seems the more famous a site becomes, the more people go there just to tick it off their list of places to visit. But if your patient and wait long enough, you might get lucky enough to be there during a lull between the groups of tourists.
Of course you're never alone. For there are always Ravens.
The day I was there, during a lull, when all was quiet, a raven decided to come out to play. He circled the arch and sailed across the bowl next to it, then back to the arch to weave around it like it was some gigantic May Pole.
He gronked in pure delete and kept weaving his song lines of flight around the arch. He seemed to be playing some primal raven game with the monolith for pure joy, or perhaps like us, the arch bespoke some deeper connection for him to the landscape of his world. That his circling was a form of pilgrimage.
Like most of my encounters with ravens, it was magical and the memory stayed with me. Recently it found expression in the song Ravens & Red-tails on my third recording, New Fire.
I recently went back and captured some of the video I took of his flight and have posted it with a short sample of Ravens & Red-tails.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
The song Ravens & Red-tails was recorded with a Scott Loomis Wind's Song flutes in the key of G. This is a very sweet flute and was profiled in an earlier posting. READ ABOUT THE FLUTE