Today we drove through Manning Park towards the south Okanagan where we’re going to spend a few days with our friend Liz, exploring, visiting favourite wineries, the wonderful Dominion Astrophysical Observatory at White Lake, and eating Doukhobor food in Grand Forks. We stopped for a picnic on the Similkameen River and who should saunter over to visit but this raven.
It’s deformed, isn’t it? It didn’t stop him from begging salmon paté and bits of olive bread. And although I don’t know much about the condition, I have found a site which explains the background and possible causes, as well as genetic influences:
Anyway, it was so interesting to be so close to a raven — crows are often this sociable but ravens are more aloof, stand-offish. And what a life — living on the riverbank, cadging treats from those eating picnic food, the smell of spruce heady in the air, and snow still on the ground. I was reminded of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) Crooked Beak of Heaven masks I’ve seen all my life and until now didn’t know had a very grounded source of influence.