15 January 2010

Friday Photo Shoot-Out: Birds

Finally, my computer and I saw eye to eye and I was able to upload these photos for our *ahem* Friday Photo Shoot-Out. This week's theme was "Birds, Real or Otherwise" chosen by our good friend Scriptor Senex all the way over there in jolly ol' England. I sit here in non-jolly Alaska thoroughly jealous and missing Oxford.

I finally got a chance (and a swatch of good enough weather) to go out into the city and shoot this week. As you can see, it was snowy and grey. Welcome to Juneau! It's always like this. I was happy for this assignment because the birds of Juneau were one of the first things I noticed when I moved here. They're huge. Freakishly huge. Like, I can't approach the Jeep when five of them are sitting on top of it because they will peck my eyes out huge. So here's some pictures of the not so gentle avian beasts:

A raven for every street light on the way home.
Aside from boringly normal birds like swallows, Alaska has two main bird populations: ravens and eagles. Both are plentiful and both are HUGE. "What's the difference between a crow and a raven?" you might ask (or, if you're me circa 2008, "What's up with the crows here?"). About ten pounds of body weight and the beak--it's longer and hooked on the front instead of straight.

Totem pole outside the Goldbelt Building on 10th Street.
The First Nations of Alaska took their inspiration from nature, and so even to this day, the Tlingit (pronounced "KLINK-it") tribe (I'm not sure about the Haida) is separated into two clans--Eagle and Raven. Eagles can only marry Ravens and vice versa. It's sort of their way of preventing incestuous marriages. The two birds show greatly in native art as well as culture, and especially in totem poles around the city, like this one.

These symbols are popular in native art--the one on the left is Raven and the one on the right is Eagle.

Sea birds are also a big part of Juneau's heritage--we are a fishing town, after all! This statue stands outside the Federal Building against the backdrop of a snowy Mount Juneau.

A raven, the US flag and the Alaskan flag outside the Montessori School.
How Alaskan-American.

Sorry I couldn't get any eagle shots--they're everywhere (especially by the dump, sorry to burst your bubble, but they eat trash), and they're also incredibly fast, so I couldn't get a shot. One day, one day!


~JarieLyn~ said...

I'll be back for you FSO post.

Nicolle Howard said...

I like...I'm trying to convince my hubby to make a trek to the frozen north. He thinks it's too cold.

Cindy said...


Just tell him that Chicago is colder than Juneau 90% of the time in the winter. It's really not that bad, it's just usually raining. I hope you get to visit!

GingerV said...

I like all the photos, your perspectives are interesting. but number 4 is my favorite.
good job even if late, I hope everyone comes by to say hello.... this week was interesting, many different shots.