Sunday, February 17, 2019

vultures

Saw two turkey vultures today. This was right after I picked up my tax return paperwork and shortly after I spent a vigorous 30 minutes shoveling out my car with an ice scraper. I'd parked on an icy curb. The sun warmed the ice and the car sunk and then I couldn't get out. Stuck. Dug out around the tires with the trusty ice scraper.

The vulture was in the road, and I thought it was a turkey. I've never seen a turkey in the city before. I saw it on my way to my accountant, and it was still there when I came back. That's when I saw it was a vulture, not a turkey. I've never seen a vulture in the city either.

So I turned around to take a good look. It was eating a dead squirrel, fresh roadkill. A car came and the vulture hopped up onto the snowbank. Then it flapped it's black wings and swooped up to a rooftop. What big wings. That's when I saw the second vulture. It was up on the roof.

The last time I saw vultures was out west last May. I remember one morning at Mesa Verde. I drove up there in the dark and was there at the rim when the sun came up. As it got light, I saw black blobs in the Douglas firs. I thought they were plastic bags. It got lighter and I saw they were sleeping turkey vultures. About 20 of them, maybe more. One by one they rustled, flapped, resettled, hopped around, and swooped to a new branch. Douglas firs can grow to be 200-300 feet tall. The firs and vultures were just below me, between the ruins and me. I was the only person there. I just sat on the rock rim and watched the light, the vultures, and the ruins.

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