Saturday, September 1, 2012

4th Annual International Vulture Awareness Day

So here we are, between the two waves of the political conventions & just the right time to talk about vultures.  This does rather do vultures an injustice, but well it was just so easy.

Living in the country, I have an appreciation for vultures that maybe people who are routinely unaware of what happens out of their line of sight. It is easy in a city, or even a well-groomed suburb, to forget that when you put that garbage out at the curb it goes somewhere.  You know it goes somewhere else, but that it continues to be there, at that somewhere is shockingly easy to forget.

Out here, though, there is no garbage pick-up, at least not for Mother Nature's garbage.  & the fact is she has PLENTY: trees that fall & decay over years, plants that burn in the first frost & are just husks a few days later.  Birds & insects & even small mammals do what they do & slowly it all gets turned over.  But those birds & small mammals & even large mammals also keel over & then what?  Enter the vultures.

It is a rare day that I do not see a carrion bird of some kind & good thing, too.  If it weren't for them we would be stacked up to our eyeballs in cadavers.  We wouldn't care, though, because the stench & the disease from all those bodies would have killed us before the pile got past our knees.

Which brings us to today's holiday, of sorts, dedicated to the not only unsung hero but the villainized hero.  That would be the guy who does a job that is so repellant the most mild mannered among us swerve to avoid associating with them, while others routinely throw rocks.  But like it or not, a vulture doesn't do the killing.  At best they clean up everyone else's mess, at worst they start circling a bit early when they spot a volunteer.

Happy International Vulture Awareness Day

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. I had never viewed vultures this way before.