Date: 2/21/17 6:08 am
From: David Ray <cardcards...>
Subject: Re: February
I can remember that about 50 years ago, my great aunt had a place outside the little town of Mansfield in NW AR. She had a hammock outside that she would rest in and the vultures would circle above her whenever she was in it. When she would get up, they would leave. She thought it was very funny.
David Ray
NLR

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 21, 2017, at 2:39 AM, bill . <billwx...> wrote:
>
> Hi Herschel and everyone,
>
>
> Great story as always!
>
> The Turkey Vulture incident reminds me of one experience here near my home in Enid, Ok where a Turkey Vulture did take notice of me. I was walking along a paved road with long zoom compact camera in hand when i saw a small group of Turkey Vultures perched atop some large electrical towers. It was morning and i assume they were waiting for the air to warm and thermals to become favorable. I watched for some time, but they were little more than blobs to my camera screen at full zoom. Finally they went from stationary to preening, then to extending wings. A couple tried short flights as if testing wind conditions. When they began to get aloft they started circling over the towers, but one veered off in my direction. I was pleased to finally have a possible subject within range, and grew more excited as it came closer. After circling low over me for a bit, the bird actually perched on the pole nearest me. I cautiously moved closer not wanting to scare it, but the vulture just sat and looked down at me for some time allowing some memorable (to me) pics. As i was engrossed in this experience, i noticed that i had moved from the side of the road and was standing smack on the yellow line. There was little danger as traffic is sparse on this particular stretch, but it occurred to me the vulture might well be waiting patiently for this idiot in the middle of the road to become its next meal!
>
>
> Vultures and hummers have to be my favorite birds. An odd combination i know, but both majestic in their own ways. How few creatures can feed and continue to exist while doing little harm to others, and even fulfill useful purposes!
>
>
> peace
>
> bill
>
> enid garfield ok
>
>
>
> From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List <ARBIRD-L...> on behalf of Herschel Raney <herschel.raney...>
> Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:08 PM
> To: <ARBIRD-L...>
> Subject: [ARBIRD-L] February
>
> February 19th and all three of my Hellebore are blooming. A cure in ancient Greece for depression. Not the blooming, or the witnessing of the blooming, but some wild concoction made from the leaves.
>
> In Baxter county this weekend and the geese were flying northward. Several large flocks of Snows and some moderate sized flocks of White-fronts. The Snows carried some Ross’ with them. Day and night they streamed. In the evening on the 18th they rolled over the stars of Perseus and Cassiopeia. Making me aware, as they always do, of the distances. Venus was in crescent. And so bright that it was astounding. I kept hoping to see a goose silhouette the entire bright point of Venus. It never happened. But they did just brush west of the North star.
>
> The Peepers were calling in Baxter and back at my own house the Chorus frog concert is too intense for February. I fear for their lives these next few weeks.
>
> The door to the back deck is open as I type this. My wife calls out that the Barred Owls are calling in the oaks. I run down. And find silence. I make some whoop-woos. But get back only Carolina Wrens and the twitch of dusking Cardinals.
>
> Otherwise up in Baxter County this morning the Jays were my friends. I sat among them and listened as they kept switching their contact calls in four directions. Clearly they were just talking to each other. Some kind of reassurance among friends and family. Pee-jerrr calls and then high hawk whistles. I saw several Krider’s Red tails on the way up there to the county. None from my deck over the lake. But a Sharpie perched up at sundown surveying the sloping world down to Norfork. Scoped it. And then launched and gone, I don’t know the dramas afterward: failure, success, blood, sleep. I do not know.
>
> Turkey Vultures also entertained me in their beautiful tilting flight at dusk in north Arkansas. All headed west, towards some night perch I did not know. I would go and find it if I lived there. But as an alien visitor, I just appreciated the journeying past. I was unnoticed. Down below as usual. Insignificant, as I likely deserve. When I am noticed by vultures, then things have gone very far south. Air burial, as they have it in Asia, or did before all the vultures died off, is not as bad as sounds. Lifted in bites towards everywhere, and then gone. I can think of worse. Stardust anyway; stardust again.
>
> But not now though. Not yet. Right now, in the eyes of a gliding vulture, I am nothing. And this, as I say, is just what I deserve. Right now I like being the watcher, still awake. And hoping for more tomorrow.
>
> Herschel Raney
>
> Conway AR

 
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