Pyrography Tribute to Raven

Ravens woodburned on platterRavens woodburned on platterBefore I read about the story in the New York Times, about the Edgar Allen Poe exhibition opening at the Morgan, I had just finished a couple of platters paying a tribute to the clever raven.

Ravens woodburned on platterI wasn’t thinking so much about Edgar Allen Poe’s prophetic, if not morose, raven as much as I was thinking of the powerful, playful ravens taking advantage of strong wind currents over the Grand Canyon. These ravens were not saying, “Nevermore” but rather when they landed and spoke to each other they said, “Try this current over here. It’ll give you a good ride!”

Mary Coulter Indian WatchtowerIt was in the heat of the summer, I stood far from the crowds, yet near to Mary Coulter’s Indian Watchtower that leaned over the hazy orange-red and purples of the canyon.

There, I watched and photographed  the ravens playing in the wind currents.  Occasionally, a raven would land in a nearby branch and watch its compatriots navigate the currents.

One time a couple of ravens stopped to rest on the edge of the canyon a few feet from where I stood with my camera.  It would seem they were animatedly comparing notes with each other.  They were not crying out “Nevermore” to fly that wind current.  These were ravens who had signed up for Xtreme flight. These are the ravens woodburned on my platters!

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Ravens, related to the crow, are brilliant birds.  The Caledonia crow, Betty, resourceful and creative has several stories around the Internet for at least a decade now.

Most myths involving the raven illustrate the prophetic powers of Raven.  I would imagine, if you would be any good at predicting you’ve got to be smart about noticing details and patterns in nature — like being able to read the wind currents for starters.