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calendar   Friday - April 22, 2016

have I seen everything yet?

Sometimes I feel like Marlin Perkins living here, out on the edge of our own Wild Kingdom in our backyard. Last week it was rummaging bears. Last year it was Doe Fight, with the female deer up on their hind legs hoofing the daylights out of each other; a regular Last McNugget battle.

Yesterday I looked out the window and saw a great lump in one of the trees here at the edge of the cliff. WT?? Turned out to be a turkey vulture. Just sitting there on a branch, his wings just hanging limp and akimbo. Then I noticed another lump in a nearby tree. And another up in that one. And down there, down at the base of the hill, what’s that tussle in the long grass? We had half a dozen of the big birds right outside the door, and they were going after something down in the bushes but good. Uh oh. Count the patio kittehs! But try as I might, I couldn’t make out what they were doing. One after another would jump off a high branch and kind of flutter down, nearly out of sight, where a big pile of deadfall crosses over the head waters of a little brook that springs up down there. After a few minutes they’d leap and flap up onto some other half fallen trunk ( we still have dozens of downed trees from hurricane Sandy several years ago ) and just hang out limply, ruffing up their neck feathers and twisting their blood red heads about. Are they fighting? Is this a breeding ritual thing? Is there a large dead animal down there?  I couldn’t tell.

I walked down there this morning, from the road on the other side. Plenty of brambles, but not too steep. It turns out that the brambles grow in arches that form sort of a tunnel network, and that there is a fair amount of flat open ground along the brook. And where there’s a bend, there’s a nice little pool of water about 5 feet across and maybe a foot deep. The birds were bathing in it. Drip dry vultures, who knew?

“Well of course”, says the know-it-all Internet. “And here’s a video, naturally”. And links to amazing photos!! And source documents!!

Well, fine. I swear, the Internet is so vast it can suck the wonder right out of life. But it’s different when it’s 20 feet away, where you can hear it and smell it too. Another day of life here in the wild.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2016 at 03:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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