Ravens and Love in Point Reyes

20170214_143825After weeks of work, I was thrilled by a recent hike B. and I took to Point Reyes National Seashore, a spectacular stretch of the California coast and a very special place for us. After winding through woodlands of rushing streams fresh from winter rains, the Bear Valley Trail meets Arch Rock. Here, the North American Plate meets the Pacific Plate, and juts out into the Pacific Ocean.

A flock of White-crowned sparrows came out of hiding in some nearby manzanita bushes, to explore the bread (and wine) that we brought for our picnic. These tame birds were clearly used to human visitors. A spout, then a slash of back, signaled a whale out at sea.


Ravens, two clearly paired, softly called to each other on a nearby rock outcropping. They stood close together, groomed one another, and fed each other. “With such affectionate behavior,” B. said, “There’s no reason to believe that animals aren’t capable of emotions like love, just as we are – after all, we are animals!”

Watching these amazing creatures, I couldn’t remember the last time I heard and saw such a concise, eloquent defense of our link to the natural world.





About thislittleplot

Writer, hiker, loafer
This entry was posted in Birds, Geology, Local Area Hikes and trips, Nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Ravens and Love in Point Reyes

  1. Michele Stone says:

    Wonderful account! Ravens abound these days. I’ve felt a close affinity for those large black messengers. I am not surprised to hear that the LOVE.

  2. Shonna says:

    Oh Ravens… and Irene & B. My heart is happy reading this entry. Thank you for sharing this recent adventure. Sounds delightful & photos, beautiful!

  3. This sounds like it was a delightful experience. Ravens are extraordinary birds, although I’m not yet adept at distinguishing them from crows! I have a long ways to go before I’m familiar with all the new wildlife in Northern California.

    • Ravens are much larger, and their beaks are thicker; also, when they fly you can see that their tails are tapered rather than straight across, as a crow’s is. Glad you enjoy them too!

  4. BC says:

    I like your choice of libations on the trail. Chris

  5. BC says:

    Not many ravens around here, but lots of turkey buzzards. Very large birds floating in the winds over Lake Winnebago and the Niigara Falls escarpment that reaches NE Wisconsin here at High Cliff State Park.

  6. owlwoman says:

    Beautiful stuff. I can’t help but agree…

  7. utherben says:

    Absolutely thrilled to have this pop up on my feed the week of my birthday – it’s always a treat to read your posts, and of course ravens are perpetually ~highly relevant to my interests~.
    Good to hear you got some rain this winter! The weather here has been absolutely bananas.

  8. mfreeman706 says:

    Another great piece in many ways, Irene. Animal intelligence and emotion are two of my favorite subjects. Point Reyes is spectacular too. Hope the fish runs are improving there, though I imagine the ravens are wishing that more than me. Beautifully written as always, and perfect juncture of animal and human contentment.

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