Monday, November 12, 2018

OH TO BE A VULTURE


Sorry, another rerun. Re-worked from 2014. Maybe next week I'll be original. 

Oh to be a vulture. Not just an ordinary buzzard mind you but a Turkey Vulture. I do have my standards. And yes, I do have a strange mind.


This unusual thought came to me as I was lying in my hammock on a beautiful day this week, de-stressing from all the garbage on TV. Not only all the depressing news about shootings, disease, bad behavior and mayhem being dumped into our living rooms, but also those incessant political debacles had gotten me down. Politics really brings out the worst in our species.

I realize I am winding down my years here. I have way fewer years ahead than behind, thus the strange thoughts. So as I lay in my hammock, I began thinking about what animal I would like to come back as, if it is possible, and I hope it is.

Would I want to try again as another human? Forget it. Been there, done that. Humans are a declining species. Surely there are far better choices.

Otters use to rank high on my list.  They make a career out of playing and eating though often kill just for the fun of it. Then there is the possibility of being skinned and worn on the backs of the rich.  Being a serial killer or a garment accessory are strong negatives.

Dolphins have a lot of pluses. They also enjoy play, have tight family groups, are fearless fighters, very sharp minds but there is always the fear of being captured and having to do three shows a day at Sea World.  Sorry, I have no desire for the stage.

I love the elephant's intelligence, family devotion, and long life but man is such an accomplished predator. Even enormous size can not defeat one well aimed bullet or worse, the chains of captivity.

A bear has always been at the top of my list. They over eat as part of intelligent design, not gluttony, sleep for three to five months at a time and give birth while hibernating. As much as all that sleep sounds cool, I'd rather not waste almost half of my life unconscious. Now if I learn bears have vivid dreams, I may reconsider.

As I lay comfortably in the hammock contemplating this, I was captivated by a gentle, graceful sight. Several Turkey Vultures, were putting on a wonderful show as they rode the air currents while in search of lunch.

The large birds rarely flapped their wings but just let the wind lift them gracefully as they rode the thermals. Up, down, veering off to the left only to circle back to the right. All without visible effort as they smoothly rode the wind.

Wow, to be able to fly with such ease and grace would be spectacular. None of this strenuous wing flapping stuff other birds employ, just gliding. Yep, Vulture zoomed up to the top of the list.

Turkey Vultures are not equipped to kill but are efficient at cleaning up what others have killed. They recycle.  Of course there is that eating of dead stuff thing but don't we do the same? Can't remember the last live thing I ate. Unless we are hunters, we also eat what others kill, it is just a bit fresher.

I learned Turkey Vultures have a keen sense of smell which is singular to their genus. Makes sense though on how they are able to find lunch.  Pretty sure day old dead opossum smells to a vulture the same as a steak on a grill smells to me, yummy.  I did learn that vultures have set expiration dates on carrion. They do not eat the really rotten stuff as most believe.

Turkey Vultures mate for life. That is another great plus for constant dating and breaking in a new mate annually could be wearing.

Unlike many raptors, vultures are relatively social and often feed, fly or roost in large flocks. A group of vultures is called a committee,venue or volt. In flight, a flock of vultures is a kettle and when a group are feeding, they are called a wake. I like their social aspect and cool group names.

One of the bigger killers of the vultures are automobiles but oddly, the car is also it's greatest benefactor, providing them with easy access road kill. Kind of a double edged sword

Except for that sense of smell thing which I am sure I would find delightful in that feathered body, I could find no negatives.

Not my photo. From the Audubon Society.
Ok, the face could use some work. Bald, wrinkled, severe Rosacea, no eyelashes and a serious over bite-- hum. Scary to think what an old Turkey Vulture would look like but I am assuming to another vulture, that is one hot looking bird.

After re-reading this I am pretty sure my choice was based on my disgust with politics at this time and was seeking a little non-complicated escapism.   That peaceful soaring seemed to be just the answer.

Still it gave me a chance to really look at a creature often found repulsive to many and to find a LOT of admirable, appealing traits. Vulture still stands as a top three choice and if I ever see one appear to play or even chuckle--it will go right to first.

Have you ever given thought to such an off the wall fancy?   What creature would you chose?

33 comments :

  1. Oh Patti, you have made me both laugh this morning and ponder what animal I might choose to return as. I think you've got it: a bird of course, but maybe an eagle would be more to my liking. Although now that I think of it, vultures have it pretty darn good! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Djan.
      Thank you glad you enjoyed. I think you have chosen a much more attractive returnee. But remember vultures are social, eagles aren't.

      Delete
  2. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS POST and don't know how I could have missed it the first time around! You might remember my posts where I wrote about my love affair with the maligned and amazing Turkey Vultures. They used to live in my big trees and every morning as they woke I watched in fascination as they waited for the air currants that made it possible for them to glide off. It was one of the most beautiful to see and I miss them terribly.

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    Replies
    1. Ginnie,
      I knew you were a fan of the birds also. I could watch them for hours. For such homely birds they are pure beauty in flight.

      Delete
  3. I would not want to be any bird because then I'd have to live out in the elements. Not for me. But if I had to pick I'd be elephant because at least they live in warmer climates. LOL

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    Replies
    1. Jean R,
      If I were you I'd refine my pick to Asian Elephant. They don't have tusks so would not be poached. They might be put to work though.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Peggy,
      Smart to specify your owner. I have seen too many dogs abused and neglected.

      Delete
  5. I love turkey vultures too! They are so graceful and beautiful. There was a fellow blogger years ago whose blog was called Vulture Cafe. I loved that so much. We're all working our way to be one of their meals. I wouldn't want to come back to earth as anything if there were any humans left. A truly destructive species and sharing earth with them would not be fun.

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    Replies
    1. robin,
      I agree. Humans have messed up the Earth quite badly. Vulture Cafe is a cool name for a blog.

      Delete
  6. Vultures were a favorite subject for Gary Larson's cartoons. My Favorite? Two sitting on a tree branch, one says to the other "Patience Hell, I'm going to kill something!"

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    Replies
    1. joeh,
      I totally remember that cartoon and loved it. Almost thought of looking it up and putting it in this post.

      Delete
  7. That's a very convincing argument but I don't think I could look in the mirror in the morning and feel happy about the way I look.

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    Replies
    1. Fun60,
      Ah but think how gorgeous you would look to another Vulture? I am sure to vultures, we look positively hideous.

      Delete
  8. HA HA HA ---love this post.... I certainly could be a vulture --but it would be better than being a human who would 'clean up' what her kids wouldn't eat and then gain weight.... If I were a turkey buzzard, I could eat what I wanted and not gain weight.... Sounds like a plan!!!!!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    Replies
    1. Betsy,
      You bet. Though I don't know what they do in the nest. They may have that left over problem also.

      Delete
  9. Patti, you are one CLEVER lady!!

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  10. Hahaha. The things we think of. I have started have a lot of thoughts of the future and the past. It is the circle of life.

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    Replies
    1. Barbara,
      Yep, I think those of us of a certain age do give in to thoughts like this.

      Delete
  11. I've thought of being different animals, but have never considered any of the birds. Usually I want to come back as a mighty oak tree, tall, wide and shady with big limbs for climbing into. Or a solid huge granite rock.

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    Replies
    1. River,
      Hum, never thought of a stationary item but the ones you chose also give back. I like that.

      Delete
  12. What a fun read!
    I have not considered coming back as anything. I guess I'll stick with my one human life.

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    Replies
    1. Linda R,
      Well you have certainly made good use of the one you have so that makes sense.

      Delete
  13. Funny...as I just started your post, I though what animal would I like to be and long before I came to your final choice, I thought a bird..so free and able to fly high above and then I thought vulture or crow. Then I saw your choice and WOW.
    I’d settle for either. An eagle, I’m afraid would be shot at.
    Also vultures and crows appear to like company, as do I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary,
      Great minds think alike. I too like the social aspect of the vultures a lot. And lets face it, no one would mount a vulture for their wall or collect its feathers. Man would be less of a threat.

      Delete
  14. I agree with fishducky, "You are one clever lady." Not only did I get some nice chuckles out of this one, but you made me think...and I am still thinking...

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  15. Chip Butter,
    Well thank you so much and glad you and Fran think so. Let us know if you come up with something.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post!I now have a whole new perspective on turkey vultures. The animal I choose would be a cat, just as long as I could live with someone as gullible as me. My cat is definitely in charge in my house and lives like a queen!

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    Replies
    1. Around my kitchen table,
      Thank you, glad you enjoyed. Cat with the right owner would have it made. Would be nice to be in control and they have relatively long lifespans.

      Delete
  17. Like River, I would like to be a tree, a redwood tree that had seen centuries of God's creations. If I can't be that, I'll go for a red tail hawk. The are so beautiful and gracefull.

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  18. Well, sweet Patti I have never given thought to me coming back as an animal...but I have at times wondered what it would be like to be a bird and fly through the air peacefully and enjoying a lot of beautiful sights. Unless an animal is a beloved, spoiled pet most of them don't have a very easy life so not sure I would want to be one in the wild. Very interesting post sweet Patti...I love seeing the ideas you come up with on your blog. Hugs

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  19. I’m stymied! Do I want to be a creature with a short life span, or one with a really long one? Much as I love the prospect of flying, I don’t like the vulture’s diet. Now maybe the prospect of being able to live forever I should consider. There is a species of jellyfish that can do just that — transforming back to its juvenile form, thus capable of becoming immortal. Do you think I’m over-thinking your simple question?

    ReplyDelete

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