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Soaring in unison

1 Aug

Ravens over Bryce

Soaring over dry
Heated, barren desert air
Learning how to fly


ps.  this is my most favorite raven picture I’ve ever taken.  A pair of Ravens was teaching their 3 offspring to fly over Bryce Canyon’s wild hoodoos . . . love it.


Raving about my most viewed photo

30 Jul

Raven Silhouette I

This (not very good) photo of a raven is the most viewed photo in my Flickr photostream.  I thought maybe it’s been seen so much because it was on my 2nd most popular post, The Difference Between Ravens and Crows.  But it’s not.  It’s not my best picture of a raven or my most interesting picture of a raven.  I cannot figure out why it’s been view more than 4,500 times.  Weird.

Coolest Birds in Utah (well, sort of)

17 Jul

Ravens over Bryce

(Continuing in my series of photos of bird silhouettes with clouds and sky)

When we went to Bryce Canyon, I was not up for hiking.  We’d hiked the Virgin Narrows the day before and my body was done!  It’s an amazing hike that should be on everyone’s bucket list!  I’ve done it twice now and I’d do it again in a heartbeat but it’s tough and I had a fall that wrenched my shoulder so I wasn’t hiking at Bryce.

So, I stayed topside while Greg, Gage, and Ruth descended into the hoodoo-filled landscape.  Never fear . . . there was a family of ravens to keep me entertained.  There were two parents and four offspring.  They were working on flying successfully above the canyon.  I must have shot a hundred pictures of them.  Don’t worry, I won’t share them all!

Raven at Bryce

Ravens over Bryce

Ravens at Bryce

Oh, and the real coolest bird in Utah?  Well, there are California Condors at Zion.  Greg saw one but I didn’t.  Disappointment.

A Murder of Crows

17 Jan

A Murder of Crows

We’ve long had ravens at my school however crows are making more and more of an appearance here, too.  Oddly, when crows show up, ravens usually leave.  I suspect it’s the abundance of food available here — kids are notoriously messy.  But, the Ravens and Crows seem to be working out a timeshare system where they use the playground at different times.  This flock (murder) of crows was on the playground (16 strong) until my camera appeared and then they all flew frantically off to these distant trees.  Sorry about the blur on this picture it’s zoomed in and super-cropped.

I love corvids.  The crows at our school are more skittish than the ravens who are brazen and will come look in our windows and land right on the railing outside my classroom and kronk at me.  They are heading for the garbage cans where the reach in with their beaks, pull up the plastic liner, hold it with a foot, and reach in again and again until they lift the food at the bottom to where they can reach it.  Tricksy critters, ravens.

And crows.


Almost worth getting up for . . .

14 Jan


Pink light silhouettes
an inky black tree angel
delightful morning

© 2011, Liza Lee Miller.
Creative Commons License

Tree Angel

13 Jan


Raven lands firmly
with a loud, decisive kronk
Unlikely Angel

© 2011, Liza Lee Miller.
Creative Commons License
Photo by Gage Miller, © 2011

Ravens of Worth

10 Jan


I see this pair of ravens almost every morning.  They hang out in downtown Boulder Creek near the coffee shop I go to most mornings for my requisite cup of caffeine.  They are usually accompanied by a group of other ravens — who seem to be under them in their social ranking.  These two hold themselves above the others who squabble and search out food on the street or on nearby roof tops.  It’s clear that this pair has the BEST spot to perch and the others simply have to make do.

Crazy Week

12 Mar

Grandfather's Ties Crazy Quilt - closeup

I searched in my Flickr account for crazy.  This was the first image that came up.  A crazy quilt I did nearly 10 years ago.  I wish my life were this kind of crazy this week.

It all really started last week.  Friday afternoon, my cell phone rang while I was teaching.  The kids and I danced to the song and one kid yelled out, “Isn’t that Rush?  Closer to the Heart?”  Knowing that Greg does NOT call me during the day without reason, I got the kids on a task and checked my phone.  Both a call and a text message.  Yikes.  Text message read:  I am fine.  Truck totalled.

So, we had that to deal with.  He was fine and his sister collected him and his belongings from the wrecking yard.  We love Honda engineering.  When a tanker truck turned from the middle lane in front of him without a turn indicator, the anti-lock brakes, seatbelt, air bags, and crumble zone allowed Greg to walk away without a scratch.

Then he went to Boston and I’ve been running around like crazy.  Weeks only get crazy, hectic impacted for us when Greg is out of town.  Meetings and observations and teaching adult classes and oh-my-god-get-me-off-this-crazy-ride.

It won’t end until I pick Greg up at the airport, Saturday night very late, after being at an outdoor ed training program at Elkhorn Slough to get trained so I can bring field trips through there.

In other news, I had several close encounters with Ravens this week.  One of my students recommended that I write a book that is such a great idea that I am planning to make it my first project this summer.  It involves ravens and school and the ideas are percolating madly right now.

Ravens Dancing in the Sky

9 Feb

One of the great joys of living near Ravens is watching them dance in the sky.  I’ve shared this before [click] and [click].


Ravens spiraling
Soaring, gliding through the air
They dance in the sky

Enjoy.  They are even more inspirational in person.


For more photos of the birds of the sky, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

More movement poems at One Single Impression.
All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2009, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Ravens in the afternoon

27 Jan

Yesterday was meant to be a day off for me.  Teachers, however, rarely enjoy days off (except in the summer, I know, I know).  So, I went in for a couple of hours.  Five and a half hours later, I dragged myself home with a pile of unfinished work.  (You know we do it for the high pay and extreme glamor, don’t you?)

The highlight of my day was when I spotted two Ravens hanging out on the walkway outside my classroom.  One was walking along the walkway.  It was so quiet at that moment that I could hear his talons click as he walked.  He ignored me completely (after all, I didn’t have a camera in my hands).  I quietly and calmly went into the classroom and got my camera.

Of course, as I focused it on him (her?), he fled the scene.  Dratted bird!

The one at the end of the walkway, on the railing, did not flee.  I snapped several pictures as it froze in place like a statue.  I didn’t dare walk closer but  continued shooting out of focus shots (thank goodness all my bad shots are on easily deleted pixels and not expensive film!).  Eventually, my persistance paid off.

The best shot of the bunch was the last possible one.  Good-bye, Raven!  Enjoy your afternoon.

Common Raven in flight