OK, well that’s odd. No, more than odd. Sinister. Surreal. Sinisturreal, if you will. I walked out onto the porch with my camera in hopes of getting some hummingbird images around their freshly refilled feeder this glorious (if muggy morning) and something brought my eyes up into the neighbor’s camphor laurel tree whose boughs reach across our frontyard. And there it was, a beautiful large raven, staring back at me gape-beaked and completely silent (click it for the bigger picture):

I’m not at all familiar with ravens or crows who are so deathly still and intent on… what? Perhaps either Jiggy or Pepper who were lounging on the porch? Or could it be that the big black bird was sizing me up? Whatever it’s motive, the encounter was nicely unnerving enough that I got the above shot and put some distance between us by moving over to the north side of the yard where of course there suddenly wasn’t a hummingbird to be found.

When I returned, the raven had vanished. Without a sound.