Walkabout

Greetings, dear readers.

I walked today after a rain, a stroll, really – I wasn’t getting anywhere fast and it left me open to those chance meetings that happen on country roads. I was watching two turkey vultures pop up off an old deer carcass in the field below the road, one was an adult, the other was in scrappy plumage, likely a younger bird. While I tried not to disturb their meal more than necessary a pickup truck pulled up next to me. The driver looked at the turkey vultures, now perched on a slanting power pole, and then back at me.

“That’s some big birds,” he remarked.

A few minutes of pleasant conversation followed. Country gentlemen of a certain age always know what’s what. We both remarked on the gawky feathers of the younger bird and the large roost a few miles away (over a hundred turkey vultures and black vultures – they can make an impression) and then he waved and drove off. Something about the whole exchange just made me happy – maybe the simple joy of sharing human conversation with someone willing to slow down for a moment and watch a big ol’ bird.

My other conversations for the walk were more one-sided. I did not find the box turtle I’d seen the day before and had moved out of the path of an oncoming SUV. I was glad her travels had been safe. A doe studiously ignored me while grazing in the open on someone’s grass. I found the milkweed bloom moving along, but we still have a dearth of butterflies and the bees have the flowers to themselves.

Milkweed communicate with color and chemistry – the bloom has a heady fragrance that can be detected from forty feet away, sweet, pungent, a little dusty. Every flower is a tiny wonder.

This means my walk was bookended by carrion-consuming bald-headed birds with a five-foot wing span and heaven-scented bundles of barely half-inch flowers. Bounty enough for any one day.


Readers, I hope the day brought the bounty you were looking for. Be safe and well, I am grateful you are here and your comments are always welcome.

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