Whether you are a fellow fiber artist, enthusiast or just an admirer, walk along and talk with me on my journey.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And now for something completely different...

For some time, I have been watching a pair of (get this) Black Vultures.  They've nested in an empty building on our property.  I like these craggy, crusty, old looking creatures.  When one considers the vulture, the mental picture usually isn't pleasing.  But over time, I have to come to see them in a different light. 

There was an old, dead tree near our property some years ago.  It was home to various creatures.  But Black Vultures would use this tree for what I like to call 'conventions'.  They would silently gather in large numbers and talk about their day, plan for the future, gossip...I assume!  I would sometimes go out to stand near this tree and see them-and even talk to them.  I always think of the vultures talking to each other in their best English accents in the movie Jungle Book... "What do you wanna do?"  "I dunno, what do you wanna do?" 

I've lived in a farm-like setting for all of my 22 1/2 years in the South. I've always been somewhat amazed at how quickly vultures can eliminate a...problem. (we shall say for lack of a more genteel word)  I began to realize that these completely hideous creatures were "God's clean up crew".  Everyone and everything has a purpose, and as unpleasant as it is to see these birds for who they are, I now appreciate them.

So, back to the little vulture family in my building.  The Black Vulture incubation period is 37 to 41 days. Young are capable of flight about 75 to 80 days after hatching. So, I've been waiting for quite some time to see their little darling!  When I first spotted their little hatchling, it's body was absolutely covered with light brown fuzz.  Every time I passed this building on the way to or from our house, I was lacking my camera and never got a shot of him.  Finally one day, I had my camera and "Buzz" was sitting on a window sil. 

You can only see traces of Buzz's baby fuzz.  I wish I had been able to get a photo of Buzz when he still had it.  It was definitely cute.  I'm also glad I didn't shoo the parents out of this building.  I was told how unpleasant they would be...  But so far, all I'm seeing is the joy it's given me to see this bird grow and change and watch his parents care for him.  I haven't' seen Buzz in several days now.  So I assume he has finally learned to fly and has gone on to better activities-other than cautiously observing me in my car as I pause to talk to him. 

So the next time you see vultures congregating in trees or soaring on updrafts, you might think of them a little differently.  You could be watching Baby Buzz.  :)

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