“Carroña (Carrion)” by Javier Perez


There were old Monty Python sketches, that started with “Well, I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition…”

When we visited the new wing of the Corning Glass Museum, I didn’t expect crows.  But there were quite a few.

And this was my kind of ornithology – – indoors, out of the snow and sleet, and the subjects holding very still.

Among the creatures depicted on, and of glass, over the millennia, birds are clearly flying high, a perennial favorite.

The crows in the pictures above, are not glass.  They’re taxidermied  in the act of dismantling a ruby glass chandelier.

I’ve always kind of liked crows.

They’re a lot like some of my friends – – not outwardly colorful, but very smart, and horrible singers.

And some of them, easily distracted by shiny objects.

You’ve probably heard about the little girl in Seattle, who liked feeding the local crows.

The crows began to reciprocate by bringing her lots of interesting junk.  Including bits of glass, some beads and tiny lightbulbs.


Here’s a funny coincidence, not making this up.

While I’m writing this, I’m listening online to the Rochester NPR station (WXXI 91.5 FM).

They’re playing Schubert’s “Winterreise

It’s a song cycle in German, not really my kind of thing, but growing on me.  Parts of it are beautiful, but very formal, and sorry, just a bit somber.

And the commentator just mentioned the song was “Die Krähe” (“The Crow”)!

I looked it up:  “A crow has been following him. It has never left him, expecting to take his body as its prey.”

OK, then.

If Schubert had just been walking with a ruby glass chandelier, he could have tossed it on the path, and run for it!

One more installation, and let this be a warning, to any crows following me, and getting ideas.








13 Crows” by Michael Rogers. The description from the museum site: “Transparent light grey glass; cast, applied pigment; assembled, paper, glue, and wire. 13 cast glass crows. The bodies are wrapped and glued, mummy-like, with newsprint ripped from the front pages of a Japanese newspaper. The crows are hung upside down, suspended by their tails from a twisted wire.”


P.S.  I then looked at some of the blogs I follow, and look what Frenchapple 10 “Creartful Dodger” posted [wordpress.com/read/feeds/2949462/posts/1733572267]

It was just Day of the Crows around here!!



Art, Finger Lakes, FLX, NY, Upstate New York

Walks Around The Finger Lakes. January. Corning Museum of Glass ~ The Bad Crows


32 thoughts on “Walks Around The Finger Lakes. January. Corning Museum of Glass ~ The Bad Crows

  1. The black crows pecking at the ruby chandelier is fabulous! And as for the coincidence of the music and you and crows….. well…. be respectful of them my friend , they are smart and have looooong memories.

  2. Those crows certainly got their comeuppance. Did you know that a group of crows is called a murder? Your ruby-smashing ones had rather murderous looks, didn’t they.

  3. I burst out laughing at the last photo. Perfect. Also perfect, the commentary about not expecting to see so many crows in the new wing.
    I’ve always liked crows too. And once, looking out from an upstairs window, I saw a raven lurking in the top of a crabapple tree. Holy smokes they are big. Can’t wait to move to the coast where both are plentiful. We nearly ran out of crows around here a few years back from West Nile Virus but happily they are back.
    I like the story of the girl who fed them. My daughter intends to do the same.

    • I read about an experiment, where a piece of food was suspended by a string, and the only way for the birds to get it, was to somehow pull up the string. The crow was the first to figure out it could pull it up with its beak, step on the string, pull it up more, etc. The ravens imitated this, but the crows figured it out. Pretty smart.

  4. I love this! Both pieces are terrific (the second surely has a reference to 13 ways of looking…?). The ruby chandelier is so rich, a good contrast to the crows. Crows are so mythological, a great subject. I’ll check out the BBC story, which I missed.
    Locally we have a UW professor whose work with crows is renowned. 15,000 crows roost nearby; they are everywhere in Seattle.
    Your photos are excellent, thank you for the post, and yes, what synchronicity to hear that Schubert piece (my reaction would likely be the same as yours).
    There are many more articles like that – the research continues.

    • The towns around here have huge crow populations in the winter,too. I’ve heard estimates for Auburn of 75k, and Ithaca, Geneva, etc get swarms, too. Sometimes at sundown I’ll watch a tree become black with them, and it’s hard not to think of Hitchcock’s “The Birds”

  5. I didn’t know that….but it’s not surprising. They have plenty of fields, open spaces, etc. Yes, it’s quite impressive, seeing them come in. I meant to say I like what you did with the last chandelier image, the blurring. Great idea, it fits.

    • The upside-down hanging crows were based on something the artist saw in Japan, a warning from the farmers to crows, that were eating their crops.
      I remember seeing something like that near my father’s hometown – an old farmer would hang them on his garden fence. They’ve really continued to embrace the medieval lifestyle in that town.

  6. Robbie,, this is great!! FYI – I hate crows. They are so noisy that I can’t sleep when they’re here. I love this post. Well written and humorous. I can’t wait to see the new wing of Corning Glass. j

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s