Thursday, 23 January 2014

Death's Roadies

Turkey Vulture ( Cathartes Aura ) - Flickr - Andrea Westmoreland

Jim mowed the lower pasture, and when he had gone a trio of turkey vultures circled down on wide, translucent wings to snap up snakes. In silhouette they might have been teratorns, all fullback shoulders, sunburned heads, and dangling yellow talons – yet without, I gratefully noted, the sixteen-foot wingspan. Plenty big all the same, taking flight only reluctantly at my approach, circling and grouching over my head at snatching altitude, as if by genetic memory.

Sinister bastards. Not Death's doormen. More like its roadies.

(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson. Photo of Cathartes aura courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Andrea Westmoreland.)
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