Saturday, April 16, 2011

Playing in the Wind - Ravens

Gusty, blustery day. Twenty or more ravens are seems to be playing in the breezes. Tipping and turning. Often in pairs. Two swoop up and up until they loose momentum, then tuck and dive like dropping stones. Oh the sheer joy of being a raven on the wing.

Blustery winds are all too often a rarity here in the valley of the Umpqua. Today the sky is blue with wispy cotton balls racing south. An ever so thin crescent moon hangs above us. The ravens are exuberant! Tip and tuck, zoom and chase, up, up and away. They play with the wind where the wind hits a north facing slope and helps carry them upwards into the crisp clean air. No fog today. No smog. Instead grasses quiver and branches sway.

Maybe this is part of pair bonding. I don’t know. Many are in pairs …. Or fly in threesomes. Low croaks and high ones. One tips upside down when two zoom together; another does two complete rolls.

My first box of sketches is done on location. After we returned home and downloaded our photos I realized I missed a lot. The ravens were just too far away to see as much detail as the camera shows. So, this second box of sketches is drawn from the computer. I now see that they sometimes are carrying a twig, sometimes a lump of something in their bill. Dale thinks they were playing “keep-a-way.” I drew pencil lines around groups that were interacting with each other …. So much fun to watch.


  1. These are so beautiful Elva and love your descriptions.

  2. These are wonderful drawings and these birds are such fun to watch. I think Dale may be right that they were playing a game. They are very smart and playful. Isnt it wonderful we can take pictures and blow them up for more detail. I always love your posts.

  3. Wonderful flights wonderful birds, complimenti!

  4. so full of life and the composition is so dynamic. Your description makes you feel there. I too watched jackdaws play in the wind a few days ago, they had real fun together!

  5. So much fun to watch in real as well as your drawing. You have been able to give your drawing a sense of playfulness. Especially the jackdaw that is on his back is great. Wouldn't we perform the same air-acrobatics when we would feel the warm spring breeze and have wings?
    Lovely sketches!

  6. Dear Elva,
    Your sketches are wonderful. I try to pin down flying birds on paper, but not easy. Thank you for the work and the post! Happy Easter!!!
    Cheers, Sadami