Last May, I took the Alaskan Ferry from Bellingham, Washington to Juneau, Alaska. This was a trip up the Inside Passage with several stops along the way. I chose the Alaskan ferry because cruise ships are too large to navigate these narrow waters and I wanted to experience the voyage to it's fullest on my first trip to Alaska. My final destination was Juneau with whale watching and hiking planned.
Early one morning, I find myself sitting on a park bench near the state capitol building in Juneau. A very large black bird lands on the back of the park bench with me. He clucks and makes strange sounds, then flies away. I sit and observe. There are ravens everywhere, it's 6am. They skip, run, fly, and observe. They watch me watch them. One picks up a piece of string and drags it around for a while, then drops it. Another flies in and grabs the valuable string, then flies off with it.
I notice a raven with what appeared to be a purple bead in it's beak. He walks around, drops it, squawks, and picks it up again. I stand and walk towards him, he skips away. I follow and he runs. I stop and so does he. I go back to my bench and sit.
Again, a raven flies in and lands on the other side of my park bench, hm-mm(?), is he the same one as before?
Over the next few days, I return to this spot with a keen eye of just observing these guys (and gals). Their antics are amazing. One does a tumble a few yards away. What was that all about? They seem to have this obsession with carrying things around, digging, and talking. They have some interesting reflective color in that deep black, soft and hard edges with violets, blues, and greens. The wind ruffles their feathers, an unkept look as if they'd just got out of bed. Their heads twists and turns as if they're trying to understand. I catch my head doing the same, trying to understand.