Common Raven

Corvus corax black bird
Common Raven in my yard in Arizona

The Common Raven is entirely black – feathers, bill, eyes, legs and feet! Their wingspan is 45.7–46.5 in (116–118 cm). In size, they are about half again larger than an American Crow or Chihuahuan Raven.

Corvus corax black brd
Common Raven at the Painted Desert, Arizona

The captive ravens at the Tower of London in England are perhaps the most famous ravens in the world, and the most difficult ones to manage:

Despite their having one wing trimmed, some ravens do in fact go absent without leave and others have had to be sacked. Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials, and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub.
– The Ravens, Tower of London –

San José del Cabo Mexico
Common Raven on beach in San José del Cabo, Mexico

The most feared Raven was in the poem by Edgar Allan Poe:

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
– Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven –

The Feather Files
Name: Common Raven
Species: Corvus corax
Native to and Migration: They do not migrate (though some Northern birds might wander south in winter) and can be found throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere (from the coast of Siberia, to the slopes of Mt. Everest, across to Spain, and through much of North America down to southern Mexico) – in nearly any habitat except America’s eastern forests and open Great Plains.
Date Seen: September 2010, April 2016, January 2017
Location: Painted Desert Arizona,  north of Fountain Hills Arizona; San José del Cabo Mexico

2017 Alberta Flu Bug Arrives at my Door

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you. I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan. I will make you beg me to stop! When I am finished you will be weak for days. Sincerely, The Flu.

I’ve been getting an Annual Flu shot since 2003, and up until now I have been flu-free. My luck ran out last Monday. I woke up feeling awful – fever, chills, whole body muscle pain,  intense fatigue, a cough, and skin so sensitive I could hardly stand to wear clothes. All these symptoms pointed to a flu virus.

The flu, in a nutshell:
At First I was afraid I was gonna die.
Now I’m afraid I won’t.
– Author Unknown –

For 3 days I shuffled from bed to couch and back to bed. By Day 4, the whole body symptoms had receded, but site specific rashes and inflammations popped up. I felt well enough, though, to get out of bed and go see the Doctor. He confirmed I had the flu. He pointed out that if I had consulted him earlier, he could have prescribed a flu medication to reduce the symptoms.  I pointed out that I would have consulted him earlier if his office had been mid way between my bed and the couch!

The very first blog post I wrote in November 2009 was about the H1N1 Flu (Swine flu), which had been declared a global flu pandemic.  The strain of influenza sweeping through Alberta this season is Influenza A H3N2, but with a twist. It was able to mutate over the course of a single flu season, which meant the effectiveness of my vaccine was decreased. The vaccine should have lessened the severity of the flu and hastened my recovery time, though. Other factors that affect the course of the flu are age, general heath, underlying medical conditions, immune system, nutrition, mental outlook and support systems.

Speaking of support systems, I have to thank The Car Guy for being Mr. Mom this past week; my Doctor, who, so far, has always erased my worst fears; and the pretty spring daffodils that are popping up in my yard… and Tim’s Iced Capps… and chocolate.

I’m also thankful this was the Alberta flu, not the Arizona flu. Or worse yet, the ‘in transit between Arizona and Alberta’ flu.

What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
For Bird Flu you need tweetment and for Swine Flu you need oinkment.
– SMSQuotesimage.com –

Have you ever had the flu? Do you get a flu shot?

Where is the Letter ‘E’?

Can you find the shape of the Letter ‘E’ or ‘e’ in the photos below?

The letter ‘E’ is used as an abbreviation for:

e – electron
E – Energy
E – East
e – email
e – electronic
E – Euro
E – Failing Grade

Have I missed any other famous uses for ‘E’?

Did you find a ‘E’ or ‘e’ in each of the photos? I’ve posted the answers at Photos Containing the Letter ‘E’.

Cactus Spines – A ‘Don’t Touch Me’ World

Living in Arizona has taught me a few things about the Danger of Cactus Spines! While it is unlikely they would cause any serious reaction, the punctures can be painful!

When I go on a ‘Nature’ walk, I carry a pair of pliers to pull cactus spines out of the soles of my shoes. When I am working in my yard, I wear thick leather gloves, and I never back up without knowing which plant is poised and ready to attack my leg. Even plants in the succulent family can inflict damage – Agave leaves can have razor sharp edges or wicked spears on the tips.

Like a porcupine, some cactus readily shed their spines into your skin. Usually I can remove them with a pair of tweezers. Then it is a simple matter to wash off the blood, and apply an antiseptic of some sort.

If I had been attacked by a large number of very small ‘hairy’ spines, there are apparently several ‘bulk removal’ methods. The first is to spread a layer of white glue over the area, let it dry, then peel it off. The other way is to smooth a piece of sticky tape over the area, then peel it off. Apparently duct tape works well.

I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert.
– Demetri Martin –

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Danger.

What is the most dangerous thing that grows in your ‘neck of the woods’?

Where is the Letter ‘D’?

Can you find the shape of the Letter ‘D’ or ‘d’ in the photos below?

lake ice

pushb utton

Arizona
In my Arizona back yard – a Cottontail Rabbit

vegetables

clay large

The letter ‘D’ is used as an abbreviation for:

d – died
D – Music Note
D – School Grade
D – Chemistry – Deuterium
D – Battery
D – Shoe Width
D – Roman Numeral for 500
D – Diameter

Have I missed any other famous uses for ‘D’?

Did you find a ‘D’ or ‘d’ in each of the photos? I’ve posted the answers at Photos Containing the Letter ‘D’.