Wednesday, August 05, 2009


In my mind, I think I title a post every three months or so "vultures." If not, I apologize. If so, I think I'm due for one.

Today, Cleo and I went running out in the woods behind the house. We get barely passed the fence when I see on a snag 12 hunch-backed turkey vultures. You know they're turkey vulturs when they're heads are disproportionately smaller than their bodies like Beeker on the Muppets. The snag sits right on the trail and lo though I love vultures, I don't feel particularly safe walking under them. I don't want them to fly off. I don't want them to poop on my head. I don't want them to cruise down and run off with me or my 90 pound dog (unlikely, but vultures are big and travel in groups). So I walk to the right around the snag and what is in front of me but another snag filled with more vultures. I see a guy walking up the trail and though I love vultures, I'm happy to see him so he can bear witness to the vultures flying off with me or can grab my shoe and tell me to hold on. His dog runs over to mine and I'm like, it's cool (meaning the dogs are cool, meaning "I love vultures, even if they are staring at me). But the dog running sends the vultures flying, so I of course duck, thinking they'll fly right into my face or decide that someone must pay for all this skag-sitting-disturbance and they'll decide to carry me off. But instead of taking me by the shoulders and letting me know who's boss around these parts, they just fly off and form one of their dead-thing-sighting gyres.

Sometimes I worry that we live in a place where the predominant wildlife is scavenger--ravens, vultures, coyotes, flies. Maybe we all live in that place.

I also worry that there are more vultures here this year than last. It's been very dry this non-monsoon season. I imagine all the thirst-dead creatures lying out in the woods or off of the road. At least the vultures won't be thirsty.

It seriously needs to rain. It's so bad that whereever you walk, you have to wave through cobwebs. That's how the world will end. Not because of drought or flood but cobwebs blocking our entrances and exits, no rain to wash them out. And the vultures will just patiently watch.


What Now? said...

Okay, Nik, what the heck is a "skag"? I've looked it up online and learned that it's the street name for heroin (who knew?) and was a short-lived American drama series, but neither of those seems to fit the context.

Nik said...

Oh God, I'm horrible. SNag is the word. I'll go edit it. I always get the name for an old store (Skagg's) and the word for a dead tree mixed up.

Lisa B. said...

Frankly, the place you live sounds more and more dangerous, as in, like living on the savannah with lions, prides of roaming lions that will eat you. That's basically what vultures are like, aren't they? I think you are very brave.

Steve Fellner said...

Die by cobwebs?

Stop stealing your material from 1970s horror films. As your friend, I know, "Them, is one of your favorite.

Dr Write said...

I think we will all die from drought, but it is similar. I also think you are brave.
I also remember skaggs. Ha.

P said...

That was amazing. I could totally hear the scary music in the background. Vultures are scary, and so are cobwebs now... Can't wait til you can come and go on my walk with me at the new condo. See you in a week yahoo! Pick a good hike for us in the mountains that hug.