Town Raven

Town Raven
In flight


This is a diary, or rather, field notes written up each day, with the latest entry at the top.

To get the full story, start at the bottom entry in the archive, and read upwards.
Then read the current diary entries from the bottom up as well.

Once you've got the full story, just visit and read the new story for the day!


Location Map

Location Map
This shows where we walk and meet the ravens
The yellow and pink squiggly lines are two walks we take. The yellow one is the one we usually do. The squigglyness indicates how Madame visits her several important sniffing check-points!
We stop several times to feed the ravens, and you can see where they come from.

If you right-click on the image and open it in a new tab, you can then zoom in to see more details.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Dec 22nd

Another icy day. It was 28F/-02C when we left the house shortly before 8 a.m. There was no wind, so it didn't feel too perishing. Sun rise was in full swing, the streetlights were off, the sky showed beautiful pastel colours in rose and orange and gold.

We had heard some raven calls around 7 a.m., but they did sound far away. Because of the later time, there were many more dogs in the park. The ground was still frozen over with snow on ice and frozen snow melt on top, so walking was very treacherous. 
Madame enjoyed being out a bit more today, so we made it to just this side of the spinney.

No raven calls at first, but as we approached the top of the big field, one flew to sit on the big tree inside the spinney, and then  the other came to fly into the branch of the tree closer to the footpath.

This was my young pair. I gave them some scraps and then went straight back into the big field, not wanting to overtax Madame. They followed us, in spite of Toby coming to greet us, and in spite of me standing and talking to Toby's owner. Toby is, of course, a Border Collie ...!

The young pair got some more scraps - and then they called. Now the other young pair came flying down, from the side of the old quarries. 
As I threw some more scraps to them, the two pairs had a short, squawky scuffle. 
Both pairs kept a good distance, about ten yards.

Interestingly, immediately after they settled down after their scrapping, one each of the pairs fluffed up, squawked, and assumed the juvenile position, begging to be fed. Then they all, individually,  picked up the scraps I threw - and we left them, Madame starting to look a bit unhappy. 

Its still going to be like an ice skating rink tomorrow, according to the weather forecast. We'll be out at about the same time - ice and darkness are not a good combination: if I can't avoid a slip and fall, at least I want to see where I'm falling!

Roland Keller from Switzerland, a reader of this blog, sent me this story by e-mail:

'do you know the story of St. Meinrad an eremit and founder of the famous  Einsiedeln monastery/switzerland who had 3 raven to protect him. Once a day two criminals went as guests and killed him in his chapel. Afterwards the raven followed the criminals until Zurich where they were arrested and executed because of the raven apperance.

This is a true story, not a legend. The two criminals were hanged in Zurich, where the 3 ravens were known.'

I like it - the ravens as avengers!


Anonymous said...

The Ravens as avengers! I hope that story is true, but also hope dear Yma, that you and Madame will not be going out in icy cold weather, with lots of ice on the ground!!

yma said...

It is a true story, I've been assured.
Those two thugs were indeed hanged by their necks. There are historical documents in Zurich, I understand.

Heinrich in his books describes how his ravens follow him, for quite long distances, hopping and flying.
I can well believe that, seeing how my ravens follow me, although only for a short distance as yet. The dog walkers here have noticed
that and remarked upon.

So I see no reason why those three ravens couldn't have followed those thugs!

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