Too Much Time Alone

I know that I say it a lot but eagle watching in Dayton, Ohio takes patience. A whole lot of patience. We only have a few eagles to watch and they have miles of territory where I’m not. Therefor I spend a lot of time alone in my car watching nothing at all.

Jim and Cindy are staying true to their past habits and are being very reclusive right now as they allow their juveniles to perfect their hunting skills. I have seen the babies flying about and the adults perching here and there but it is always at a distance. Once in a while one of the members of our eagle family will venture into the Eastwood Lake MetroPark but apparently not while I am around. Roger recently captured this image of Cindy atop their favorite dead tree in the northeast corner of the lake.

 

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Beautiful, isn’t she? A bit soiled from the pressing duties of motherhood but still beautiful.

I always check this tree when I enter the park. Last year half of the tree fell and the remaining trunk sways from the weight of the eagles as they land on its barren skeleton. But they love this perch. That is why I was excited today when I spotted a large bird perched high on that tree. My poor timing would once again prove itself reliable but I decided to post the images anyway. This one is for the children and for the young at heart.

Virgil T. Vulture

Days had passed without a good eagle sighting. OK, any eagle sighting is a good eagle sighting but I wanted to see one closer than 1/4 mile away. That is why my pulse quickened as I spotted a large, dark form high on their favorite tree, far across the lake from where I stood! I ran to my car and started driving toward the far end of the lake. As I got closer I could see the dark body and broad shoulders but it soon became obvious that this bird had no head. Well, not much of a head anyway.

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This wasn’t a Bald Eagle at all. It was a Turkey Vulture. I parked my car and approached the bird. “Who are you?” I shouted. “I’m an eagle!” the silly vulture proclaimed loudly.

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“An eagle!?” I asked, “Did you say that you’re an eagle?” “Yep.” he answered proudly, “That’s what I said. Just watch this!”

With that the vulture stood as tall as he could, stretched his wings out as high as he could, and struck a pose that looked surprisingly eagle-like. He held the pose for several minutes as he whispered to himself, “I’m an eagle. A regal eagle.” over and over again.

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Eventually his left foot began to cramp and he had to quit posing. As he stretched out his long toes he looked right at me and asked. “Well, what do you think now? Pretty impressive huh? I told you I was an eagle!”

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“Well,” I admitted, “that was a pretty impressive imitation but it was still just an imitation of an eagle.” That answer really ruffled his feathers and he turned away poutingly.

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“Why do you want to be an eagle?” I asked him. Then, in a moment of honesty he replied, “OK. My name is Virgil T. Vulture but I don’t really like being a vulture. I want to be admired and respected like an eagle. After all, I’m balder than they are. (He had me there.) Ever since the American colonists started saying, ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ the eagle has become the symbol of liberty and I have been a symbol of death. Everyone likes liberty but nobody likes death. (He had me there too.) I want to be important.”

“But Virgil,” I argued, “You are important. If it wasn’t for scavengers like you this world would be a very stinky and messy place full of diseases and all kinds of problems! You have a very important job! Every job is important, no matter how small or insignificant it seems. You should be proud to be a vulture and you should try to be the best vulture that you can be. I could never do what you do!” (That may have been one of the most truthful statements that I have ever uttered.)

With that Virgil’s mood lightened. He looked right at me with a blank expression on his face and said, “You know something? I have never thought about it like that before. You are right! I am important! I am Virgil T. Vulture and I am important! Thank you! Thank you very much!”

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As he flew off I could see the smile on his beak and I could hear him singing, “I am a vulture! A regal vulture!” over and over again.

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The End

You know, maybe I spend just a little too much time alone.

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Published in: on July 29, 2016 at 6:34 am  Comments (21)  

21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just read your blog on the Vulture! It’s 5:00, so you gave me the 1st chuckle of the day! I guess even a vulture has its purpose and dignity! Happy eagle and vulture watching!

    Sue Swoll

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Made me Smile 🙂

  3. Wonderful…made me smile!

  4. Vultures are cool, too! Thanks for interviewing Virgil!

  5. Loved your story and I agree!!!

  6. You’re right, too much time alone! I really love all of your posts and eagerly look for the next installment since you are our only contact with Jim and Cindy. Spent the winter with the SWFlorida eagle family, Harriet,M15,E7&E8. Great cameras!!!. Only wish that the Dayton gang still had theirs. We can always hope for a benefactor.

  7. Oh, Jim! Never have I ever….. read blogs as good as yours! This one was so much fun to read! I love Virgil T. Vulture! … and how you made him feel important.

  8. Thanks Sue. I was thinking of our grandsons as I typed this one. We humans heap a lot of glory on some occupations and take others for granted but they all have value. Brain surgeons are important people if you have inner-cranium needs but they may be of little use if your home’s sewer drain is clogged. (Don’t tell Virgil T. Vulture but eagles are a bit exceptional.)

  9. That was my goal Rog.

  10. Well then I was successful Judy. Thanks for checking in.

  11. Vultures are cool. Virgil just needed to refocus a bit to realize that truth. I am glad you liked the interview.

  12. Thanks again Diane. You are quite the encourager and I appreciate it. The next time I see Virgil I will drop your name as he may need more encouragement. Vultures tend to get down in the dumps sometimes.

  13. Thanks Steve. I do sometimes talk to myself out there. I used to argue with myself but when I consistently started losing the arguments I stopped. I love that eagle-cam and others. It has been a rough year for Harriet and her young’uns but interesting to watch the story play out. Hopefully E8 will be released soon.

  14. Thanks again Carolyn. Few folks ever stop consider what the world would be like without the wide variety of animals completing various tasks every day and night. Scavengers cleaning up messes, owls running nocturnal rodent control, bees and hummers pollinating plants, earthworms aerating the soil, opossums feeding the scavengers… (OK, Opossums are part of that nocturnal rodent control group too but I only see them in the daylight.) Each has its own job, its own niche in God’s design. Each glorifying The Creator by doing just what it was created to do. And then there is man, gifted beyond measure but too self-focused to reach his potential. Well this man wanted Virgil to see his value and to let him know that he is appreciated.

  15. Jim! I’ve said it before….you are a hoot! Your blogs lighten and brighten my days!!! And I might add, very educational! So…..while you’re educating us mere mortals, could you please, please tell us the purpose of the dreaded moles in our yards? I’ve killed 4 so far and have a few more to go!!! Thanks for the post! You made me smile!!!

  16. Thank you Opal. Your comment reminded me of the old joke about crossing an owl and a goat and getting a hoot-n-nanny. I try to find creative ways to tell what is getting to be a very cyclical story and sometimes I run completely off the rails and end up babbling about other birds, animals and varmints. Speaking of which, I do have an answer to your mole question. My extensive 30 seconds of research concluded that it is an unemployment problem. With the growing popularity of the Pokémon Go game all of those Whack-a-Mole varmints are looking for work elsewhere. It sounds like your whacking is going well. I will ask Virgil T. Vulture to head west the next time I see him and he can help you with the disposal details.

  17. Thanks for illuminating some very relevant truths (i.e. 1 Cor 1;27-29) with a good dose of humor!

  18. Jim!!! Now you’ve really got me laughing out loud! You should write books! Seriously! This is the best one yet! Just know, you made my day with your analysis…..oh! I’ll be on the lookout for Virgil T. Vulture! I killed # 5 today…..so he’s got a lot of work to do! 😂😂😂

  19. Thank you Jeff for seeing that truth. But, in all honesty, I was thinking more of Col 3:23. There are no menial tasks when our focus is on The Lord.

  20. I LOVE vultures!

  21. Thank you for your comment Anne. Vultures seem to carry a bad reputation but what would we do without them?


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