yesterday’s slimy storm is over, leaving a shallow layer of slippery snow over the solid ice that was there on sunday. navigating our long, twisty driveway is a matter of faith and four-wheel-drive on mornings like this. i had just pulled out onto the road when i noticed a dark fluttering ahead. crows, i assumed, even though our crow population is pretty thin in the winter at this latitude. likely they’ve found a doughnut or some squirrel entrails or something equally edible on the road. the two dark birds flew up into the trees over the road as we got near and lo! ravens! i slowed and scrunched down to look up into the branches over the roadway. the first bird was in a dark-branched tree, difficult to see in the indifferent morning light. the second, a little further on, was perched in a white birch, midnight feathers against white-grey bark. as the jeep passed under it, the raven, a claw on two different branches, spread its birdy little legs and ducked its head down to gaze down at us with as much interest as we had gazing up at it. absolutely magical.