A post about my encounter with the Tarantula and my thoughts about the Ravens may be a good for Halloween.
I had posted about the Tarantula on Facebook, but since not everyone uses Facebook, here’s the scoop for you. As I was traveling out of the valley through the pass one morning, I spied a large spider scurrying across the road – yes even though I was watching the curves and rocks, he was big enough to see from inside the car. I quickly parked on the shoulder (there was one there, not just a ravine), grabbed my camera and ran back. He had made it safely to the shoulder from the middle of the road and was trying desperately to get away from me. His measurements were probably (I didn’t have a ruler on me), 5″ long by 3″ wide. They feast mainly on insects but also lizards, mice, birds and small snakes! The males usually only live one year, but the females can live to be twenty years. This picture is not the best, but I didn’t necessarily want to get down on the ground with him.
I became aware of the ravens when I first pulled into Deepsprings. They are much larger than the crows I’m used to back east and even though they sometimes stay in groups, they also like to be solitary. They will sit in a tree above you, watching as you pass underneath. I wonder what they are thinking, as you can see their heads turning as you pass. Are they thinking of aiming a bird dropping (this is what I always think, as I’ve had bad luck in the past). Or are they wondering if you have any food? Their calls are very much like crows: CAW CAW, except when they make a knocking sound similar to a woodpecker, except they’re doing it with their throat and what sounds like Koonck, Koonck, Koonck to me. I couldn’t find an example of that sound. I knew that a group of crows is called a murder, but did you know that a group of ravens is called an unkindness – because they often ‘pick-on’ other birds!
“And the raven never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting . .”