Walked to the Canyon rim, first view from there this trip and as always, a shocking sight; besides the unique beauty it invariably takes me into deep time: six million years to carve the Canyon and the side canyons, formations, and myriad astonishing features, a long process of uplift and erosion and now close to a mile deep. Only a blip in the Earth’s unbelievable history but unimaginably long for most of us. I’m sure that the indigenes looked at the canyon and saw an autograph of the Great Mystery while the colonizing Spaniards and subsequent Euro-Americans saw an obstacle, at least until John Wesley Powell took it seriously enough to explore. As with Yosemite Valley, this place is a miracle of the geologic arts. Twig and I sat and stared for a half hour during which a raven landed nearby, wandered to a spot five feet in front of us, and proceeded to slash at the white snow with his big black beak, for hydration I supposed. But he had more in mind than thirst; under the snow out of sight was the remnant of a small naked body, which he began to consume. His partner joined him and stood near his shoulder, but he made no obvious gesture of sharing (I assume he’s a male since he’s larger than she and dominated the feasting). To his credit he didn’t consume it all; he jumped to the side and she took his place and ate the remainder. I admire ravens and am always glad to see them wherever I am.

Photo by Tyler Quiring on Unsplash

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