Ravens seem to love flying, sometimes doing acrobatics for the fun of it. Photo by Bob Walker
Saturday’s presentation about ravens captures audience attention at PEEC. Photos by Katie Watson
Ravens proved a popular topic for the jam-packed PEEC lecture room Saturday, June 29, when Science Café came up to Los Alamos from KNME in Albuquerque.
People signed up from all over Northern New Mexico—the maximum of 70 people was reached a week before the event and many were turned away. Some wait-listed visitors took the place of a few no-shows, and it was delightful to welcome people from Tierra Amarilla, Moriarty, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
The KNME folks began the event by showing 15 minutes of a PBS “Nature” program on ravens, then served up delicious coffee, scones and croissants from the Coffee Booth. PEEC Board President Terry Foxx, with help from Becky Shankland and Dave Yeamans, used stories from various cultures — from Aesop’s Fables to the Delaware Indians of the east and the Pacific Northwest tribes — to set the stage for understanding the biology of the raven and its centuries-old connection to the human perception of life and death. Shankland demonstrated how the raven was celebrated in folk music from medieval times to the present.
There’s no doubt that the trickster image of ravens is parallel to what scientists have discovered about their intelligence and playfulness. They can drag up a string with a fish at the end using their beak and feet; they love to roll down a snowy bank. They wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes aggressively, for larger predators to tear up the meat they’d like to eat.
Now that the popularity of the Science Café has been demonstrated, PEEC hopes to be able to bring more of these events to Los Alamos—along with out-of-town visitors.
PEEC Board President Terry Foxx speaks about ravens at Saturday’s presentation. Photos by Katie Watson
Audience members attending PEEC’s reven presentation Saturday were treated to coffee, scones and croissants from the Coffee Booth. Photos by Katie Watson