Last night as the sun was setting behind the trees which surround the creek behind my house I was down by the pond rolling up a water hose when I saw the most bizarre scene. I have lived in this house since we had it built back in 2003 and I can’t recall ever seeing vultures either in the sky or on the ground around here. I could smell rotting flesh somewhere close but couldn’t see anything immediately. I keep seeing flashes in the shadows over the trees and when I look up I see 20 plus vultures on the decent spiral so I followed where they were going. I sent a text to my son to grab the case that has the twins and where to meet me. Within a matter of minutes he was by my side and we were on the hunt for what was dead and for dinner for the vultures. Soon enough we could hear grunting and flapping so we knew we were really close. At the edge of the trees on the creek side there is a small yet significant clearing where different animals congregate to feed in the evenings and in the mornings, mostly deer this time of year. As the vultures moved around trying to find their space to feed it became clear that this was a young doe they were feeding on. It had to have wandered in here wounded or something because I was out here over the weekend and the area was clear as we walked down to the creek.
Which just shows how remarkably fast vultures respond to the freshly dead. I don’t know allot about vultures and as we noticed these were not large birds since their wingspan was under five foot. We assembled at the edge of the trees where we considered ourselves out of sight so we could watch them. After about fifteen minutes the breeze shifted and was blowing the stench in our direction. It was time to move on. Watching the birds feed reminded me that it would be dinner time by the time we would get back to the house. My wife asked us what we were doing but I told her it would be better to discuss it after dinner, so she agreed to wait. What a coincidence, we were having venison as well for dinner. After dinner my son was the one telling the story of how the great black vultures descended from the skies to gather for their feast on the doe carcass. He tells it like an old west story, it was humorous to listen to and entertaining to watch as he imitated their flight around the living room. He was all smiles because of his adventure and seeing vultures for the very first time in person, really up close and personal.
This morning I could smell the rotting flesh up around the house as I was leaving to go to work. I hope they finish the doe carcass off through out the day because I really don’t want to have to go down there with my tractor and move it further down the river. I don’t look forward to that at all. But, it the smell is still hanging out that close to the house it will become the inevitable move to make. Hopefully mother nature will clean up her mess so I don’t have to get involved. My son took the pictures because he wanted to do show and tell today for one or more of his classes. I wish I could be there to hear how well he tells the story. I will have to ask him to tell us all again tonight after dinner.