Dinosaurs walk among us! Ok, maybe they just sit and squawk!

Dinosaurs or ravens! Ha!

I have always loved Ravens, they have such a wonderful array of calls and sounds. This parent is patient with all the begging coming from these youngsters. They doubled in size in a week and are flapping about trying their wings! Another week and they’d doubled in size again! They barely fit in the nest! A group of ravens is called an unkindness, but you can also refer to them as a rave, conspiracy, treachery, and flock…those names just don’t seem fair for such a smart and interesting bird! They get the bad rap with crows for being harbingers of all kinds of bad omens and misfortune. As a carrion bird, ravens became associated with the dead and with lost souls. In Swedish folklore, they are the ghosts of murdered people without Christian burials and, in German stories, damned souls.

In¬†Greek mythology, ravens are associated with¬†Apollo, the God of prophecy. They are said to be a symbol of bad luck and were the god‚Äôs messengers in the mortal world. According to the mythological narration, Apollo sent a white raven, or crow in some versions to spy on his lover,¬†Coronis. When the raven brought back the news that Coronis had been unfaithful to him, Apollo scorched the raven in his fury, turning the animal’s feathers black…yikes…hard life for these ravens!

The raven (Hebrew:¬†◊Ę◊ē◊®◊Ď‚Äé; Koine Greek:¬†őļŌĆŌĀőĪőĺ) is the first species of bird to be mentioned in the¬†Hebrew bible¬†and ravens are mentioned on numerous occasions thereafter. In the¬†Book of Genesis, Noah releases a raven from the ark after the great flood to test whether the waters have receded. According to the Law of Moses, ravens are forbidden for food, a fact that may have colored the perception of ravens in later sources.

Ravens are prominent in early¬†Welsh mythology, with the¬†Medieval Welsh poem¬†Y Gododdin¬†repeatedly associating ravens with battles, bravery, and death. The poem refers to the battlefield as the “ravens’ feast”, with descriptions of the ravens eating the dead bodies of the fallen warriors. In praising the bravery of a warrior named Gwawrddur, the poem’s author references his affinity with ravens:

He fed black ravens on the rampart of a fortress
Though he was no Arthur
Among the powerful ones in battle
In the front rank, Gwawrddur was a palisade.

That sounds a bit better!

The raven also has a prominent role in the mythologies of the¬†Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, including the¬†Tsimishians,¬†Haidas,¬†Heiltsuks,¬†Tlingits,¬†Kwakwaka’wakw,¬†Coast Salish,¬†Koyukons and¬†Inuit. The raven in these indigenous peoples’ mythology is the¬†Creator of the world, but it is also considered a¬†trickster¬†God.

I’d like to think of them as Gods I think, or dinosaurs, or both! All hail the ravens!

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