04 January 2013

Corvus corax Sketch

Yesterday's entry in my new, giant natural history journal was the usual weather report and list of beasties in the yard. We had a new visitor, though: a raven.

Although we have a lot of ravens in the area, the closest they usually get to the yard is flying high overhead. For a few weeks in the fall they would gather in the evening in the woods just beyond out property line -- I could hear them gossiping and saw them fly over, but that was it.

But yesterday one stopped by to check out the seeds I put out and stayed long enough to pick some of them out of the snow with her enormous beak. She didn't stay long, though, because our resident crows, which are much, much more skittish than city crows, saw me watching from the window and flew off in a flurry of wings. That made the raven nervous enough to fly away, though she hadn't seemed concerned herself that I was watching.

This sketch isn't from life. I ran to get my camera, but when I came back was when the crows decided to cause a fuss, so I didn't manage a photo. Instead, I found a picture online that matched more or less the raven I saw. It's a pretty rough, quick sketch, but I think I succeeded in capturing, at least a little bit, the range of textures in the bird's feathers.

And, as promised, here's what the book looked like in its original  installation. Not very good photographs, I'm afraid, but I hope you get the idea.

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