Life Raft

Eagle and Raven



Two bracelets by Haida artist Tom Greene Jr.

I made friends with Tommy while doing archaeology in Haida Gwaii.

He has since settled into making jewelry, truly excellent jewelry.

I don’t recall the occasion for the copper bracelet right now – perhaps just a gift for my partner after a longer field visit.

The silver was bought for our 30th wedding anniversary that was last month.

The copper is raven and silver is eagle. The two main clans, or moieties, of the Haida are raven and eagle, so it is a nice balance.

I blogged, with macro photos, about the copper bracelet when it was new – you can see the details here.

The phone did OK with this subject, though the reflections are a bit distracting.


Ferry View

Ferry Stern



I am seeing a lot of the BC Ferries system these days. This is the stern of the MV Powell River Queen.

It was so full that the netting to keep people from this edge was wrapped around car bumpers.

Our truck was so full that I could not get at my camera gear, so the phone came to the rescue once again.

August seems  to be the month of cell phone shots on this blog – an otherwise rare occurrence.

I hope no one minds too much.


Nature vs Farming


Fieldwork for me is all about searching for things. But I do not search for this kind of thing which I saw on a field trip earlier this year.

I talked with the farmer, who was willing for me to blog about this story.

A few weeks before he met this raven in a smallish enclosed chicken run, hunting his chickens who normally freely range around the farm.

He still has no idea how the raven got into the run.

The farmer commanded his chickens to leave who astonishingly (for a chicken) complied.

Then it was just him and the raven in cramped quarters surrounded by netting and wire.

The ravens around here are very large, some standing over two feet with a wing-span up to about five feet.

Being used to handling birds, he somehow snatched it and before it could rip him open wrung the raven’s neck.

Now it is gutted and dried, and keeping the other ravens out of his chickens.

He says he was in reaction mode the whole time, not thinking too much.

After, he wondered a lot about what he has done and how he avoided sharp beak and claw.

He knows he has a legal right to kill animals harming his livestock, but worried about what spiritual trouble he might be in.

He sought guidance from some First Nations friends whose culture gives ravens a very important status.

They instructed him about rituals he should undertake to cleanse himself, and all has been well since then.

It doesn’t seem like he would repeat this act, not that he is ever again likely to face this choice.


Banker’s Shadow


Last fall I had a long boring wait in the bank.

But I had my phone and these shadows on the wall were interesting.

The bank official I was working with turned out to be the most underhanded, lying, dishonest person I have ever done business with in a bank.

So for me this picture distills memories of my life encounters with incompetence.


Ferry Symmetry


A recent trip on the BC ferry Mayne Queen shows that symmetry can be found in all kinds of places,

such as between these two photos.

It always seems awkward to take photos in a washroom, even when all by myself.



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