Enforced Social Distancing

The ravens sound angry. Aki and I can hear them croak and complain as we walk along Switzer Creek. It drains a diminutive old growth forest that is bordered by a recovering clear cut. Forty or fifty ravens are hurling abuse from posts inside the forest canopy. One of the big scavengers shows itself only to disappear when I lift my camera.  

            Snow still covers the forest ground but the creek runs free. The pale-yellow shoots of three skunk cabbages have emerged a few centimeters above their mother plant. It feels like spring is checking out the woods but in a cautious way in case winter is just outside taking a smoke break. Aki and I are over-dressed. 

            The little dog cools off by rolling in wet snow. I take off my winter coat. We walk out of the woods and onto a snow-covered meadow, squinting from sun glare bouncing off the snow. Three ravens and an eagle leave the canopy. The eagle tries to settle into a tall spruce snag. More ravens show up to drive it away. 

            Aki and I head back to forest. Before entering it, we stop long enough to watch the gang of ravens chase the eagle. The swirl higher and higher over the meadow, rising above the tree line on the slope of Blackerby Ridge until they are just dark silhouettes against mountain snow. 

3 thoughts on “Enforced Social Distancing

  1. Franz

    I believe them ravens are harassing that crow or jay in the top of the tree. There was a tall dead cottonwood near where I lived in anchorage, and the ravens would congregate in groups of three to five on the top branch. On one occasion an eagle deigned to perch in their spot. The ravens were on branches nearby harassing. One, within a few feet was especially daring and hung upside down, still bitching. He then hung by one foot as if to say “Try this, dead fish eater, try this!” The eagle did a sulking fly away, the hanger on-er taking its place. Upright.


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