Monday, February 06, 2006

Vultures in Christian County, KY

True turkey-buzzard stories

When we first moved out here in the Kentucky countryside, the barns in the field east of us were standing empty. Vultures roosted on the roof ridges nearly every summer night. They flew in at sunset, and as darkness fell, they cooed to each other with their vulture voices.

An amusing thing happened several years ago. We have a local landmark known as Pilot Rock. It's a big shaft of rock that juts up out of the hills and towers above everything else in the area. A lady about my age had grown up here and moved away. She came home to visit and decided to climb Pilot Rock, just for old times sake. When she came back down, she told everyone about the peaceful experience she had on top of the Rock. Oh! she said. It was so quiet up there. She just lay there on her back for a long time and watched the clouds floating by and the vultures circling in the sky. Her brother was horrified. Good grief, he said, you wouldn't catch him lying on the ground too long with vultures circling overhead!

Several years ago, the Kentucky New Era (our local newspaper) published a photographic essay about autumn at Pilot Rock. The photography girl had driven out and taken a few pictures of trees in their fall colors. In the text that described the pictures, she stated that there wasn't any life stirring except for a dozen big hawks circling the skies. Ha! Everyone out here laughed about that. We all knew she had seen vultures, not hawks. A couple of weeks later we laughed again when the newspaper published a letter that someone from another state had written. He stated that he was quite sure the photographer had seen vultures, not hawks.

Most or all of our vultures here in western Kentucky are Turkey Buzzards. They are beautiful in the sky.

Turkey vulture. (Image by Tim Sträter.)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.