Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Looking for vultures


didn't realize  there was a pond there. The egret bolted as soon as he saw us

Springhill Nature Conservancy: can we get closer to that distant stand of maples?

Steve's charge yesterday morning. She again was running a fever. She did ask where I was
Tessa was healthy. Her mom was volunteering in Daniel's class

After we both finished watching separate granddaughters, I asked Steve for the big lens so I could go photographing vultures on my running route. Deer car collisions are more frequent this time of year and there were 3 separate dead deer on a 1.5 mile stretch alone. Two were off in the wetlands. Turns out vultures don't like to get their feet wet but one was right on the road attracting about 20 vultures. Vultures are amazingly skittish flying off when I am 100 feet away but they land in the trees right above where with a telephoto lens, I should have no trouble photographing them. As these creatures are right above me as I run by, I carefully devise a path so I will not be in the direct line of fire. I can't imagine anything more disgusting than vulture poop.

I have been pooped on by a bird bigger than a vulture: a peacock. Years ago, I was running in Stanley Park in Vancouver BC, a beautiful run surrounded by sea and mountains. I went into the interior for water where a small zoo was. Above me in a tree was a peacock. Soon I was covered with peacock poop. I tried to get as much as possible out of my hair in a public restroom and with soap from a dispenser. It was a long drive back to Seattle for a more thorough cleaning.

Peacocks eat grains; vultures eat decaying meat so being hit by a vulture would be extra disgusting. According to this bird rescue group I used to take the Girl Scouts to, a vulture's last line of defense is to vomit on you. This has happened when they have attempted to rescue injured vultures.

Maybe Steve was nervous about me taking the 'good' camera out but he said he would go with me. The deer carcass was there but no vultures. Maybe they migrated since I saw them 2 days ago? They will leave eventually. We saw a few circling way above. On to take photos of leaves instead. Earlier that morning on my run, my tunnel of trees looked so beautiful with the sun shining on them. I wanted to capture that but now the lighting was all wrong. We walked around the township park nearby. They do have a stand of dense trees, not maples,, we started to walk through but I was wearing sandals and I could see I narrowly missed poison ivy.

On to the Springhill Nature Preserve further down on my alternate running route. I take it now when the early sun hurts my eyes going east but the downside is that there is a very steep hill and I need to cross a very busy road. I had taken a small break on my route Monday and from a viewing platform overlooking a large meadow, I could see a stand of flaming maples in the distance. We walked to them. After a long stretch around the meadow, the path went through  a dense maple forest on a hill overlooking a pretty pond. Too dense for poison ivy to survive (they need light). Although it was very overcast, we did take some pretty photos. I wish I had worn more appropriate footwear.

It is bicycling day. The winds are at a minimum today though stronger than last week. When the traffic clears, I will be out there. Then off to be fingerprinted and then my cooking class for survivors. Yep I should just be eating foods from that class but cheesy caramel corn tastes so good.



Elephant's Child said...

Love those maples. And vultures do an important job. A clean-up parade.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Fingerprinting. The cops had found a fingerprint near the window that they broke to take Naomi's purse and they wanted to make sure it wasn't ours.

Elephant's Child said...

Sorry. You had told us that, but in my early morning stupour I had forgotten.


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