The Raven

The Raven

The raven is the largest member of the crow family as well as the largest perching bird in the world.  It is often considered a bad omen by many: death, darkness, and war; however, there is much more to this mysterious and intelligent bird. Much has been written about the raven. Here are just a few of the beliefs about this bird.

In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy. They are said to be a symbol of good luck, and were Apollo’s messengers in the mortal world. It is said that Apollo sent a white raven to spy on his lover Coronis. When the raven returned with news that she had been unfaithful, Apollo scorched the raven in his fury, turning the bird’s feathers black. That’s why all ravens are black.

Norse mythology depicts Odin having two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, serving as his eyes and ears – Huginn referred to as thought and Muninn as memory. Each day the ravens would fly out from the throne and return with news of the kingdom.

The raven is an important figure in most Native American cultures. It is seen as the creator of light and as a trickster figure. It is believed that the raven brought light to a world that had been in total darkness. As a trickster figure, the raven is seen as a catalyst of mischief and mayhem.

Some believe that if a raven is facing the direction of a clouded sun that foretells hotter weather. A preening raven indicates rain is on the way.

 

 

 

Common Raven
Common Raven
Decedents of Odin's ravens - Huginn ( Thought) and Muninn (Memory)
Decedents of Odin’s ravens – Huginn ( Thought) and Muninn (Memory)
The Trickster
The Trickster
I once was white
I once was white
It may rain
It may rain

State Fair of Texas – 2014

“Howdy Folks – Welcome to the State Fair of Texas”

2014

There’s nothing like the State Fair of Texas – Big Tex, The Food, The Exhibits, The Midway, and The Rides.

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A Ballet of Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swan

The Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl species native to North America.

By 1900, it was widely speculated the species had been hunted to extinction for its feathers, skin, meat and eggs. Fortunately, a small nonmigratory   population survived in the remote mountain valleys of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

In the early 1950’s a large population were found in Alaska and today their numbers are estimated at close to 16,000.

A group of swans has many collective nouns including a “ballet”, “bevy”, “drift”, “regatta” and “school” of swans. A juvenile in its first year is called a cygnet.

These swans often mate for life. Most pair bonds are formed when the swans are 4 to 7 years old although some bonds do not form until they are 20 years old. “Divorces” have been known between birds. Occasionally, if his mate dies a male may not pair again for the rest of his life.

All of the Trumpeter Swans pictured in this Blog were taken in Yellowstone National Park on the Madison, Firehole, and Yellowstone Rivers as well as the marshes on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There is one Trumpeter I photographed on more than one occasion swimming in The Firehole River that has no mate. I leave it to your imagination as to the reason – “Divorce”, “Death of a Mate”, or “Just not Old Enough”.

Swimming on the Yellowstone River
Swimming on the Yellowstone River
Life on the Yellowstone River
Life on the Yellowstone River
Nothing like a good stretch - Yellowstone River
Nothing like a good stretch – Yellowstone River
"Pass In Review" Firehole River YNP
“Pass In Review” Firehole River YNP
A Trumpeter Ballet on the Firehole River
A Trumpeter Ballet on the Firehole River
Time for a little snooze on the Firehole
Time for a little snooze on the Firehole
How do I look? Firehole River
How do I look? Firehole River
Cygnets feeding on the National Elk Refuge - Jackson Hole, WY
Cygnets feeding on the National Elk Refuge – Jackson Hole, WY
A Trumpeter Family - National Elk Refuge - JH
A Trumpeter Family – National Elk Refuge – JH
"Come along kids"
“Come along kids”
Trumpeter on the National Elk Refuge JH
Trumpeter on the National Elk Refuge JH
Is this my best side? National Elk Refuge - JH
Is this my best side? National Elk Refuge – JH

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Headed to Texas”

“Headed to Texas”

Each fall many North American Birds leave their summer nesting grounds and fill the sky headed to Texas and the tropics for the winter. Some of these feathered friends travel great distances, for example, the Ruddy Turnstone migrates from Alaska and islands inside the Arctic Circle to the sub tropics, stopping in Texas for rest and recuperation. The famous Whooping Crane comes from Woods Buffalo Hole in Canada to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Rockport, Texas.

These ten photographs are examples of some of the thousands of birds that migrate each year.

Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane
Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Yellow rump Warbler
Yellow rump Warbler
Green Winged-teal
Green Winged-teal
American Avocet
American Avocet
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane