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#1 Posted : Thursday, July 23, 2020 2:44:57 PM(UTC)

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Joined: 7/23/2020(UTC)
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Location: jiangsu

It started with the dogs. I was reading on the banks of the Santa Fe River, outside of my historic cabin. I noticed My Girl sitting alert beside the river, looking attentively at something. Karl the Corgi started to growl. Only then did I notice them filling the trees across our little river.


They migrate from North Carolina in the winter, filling our cypress trees here along the Santa Fe River. Sometimes I count 25 in a tree, but three or four trees full, all lining the Ichetucknee near the confluence or up the Santa Fe River about seven bends from my old house and three bends from my yurt.

Some think of vultures with disgust because they eat dead things…uncooked. People cook dead thing before they eat them. Didn’t Ben Franklin suggest vultures as our national bird…no, that was the turkey. My dad always reminded me what a service vultures do for us, eating road kills and other smelly dead things that die naturally in the woods.

Engrossed in my reading, I don’t notice My Girl until I hear the splash of her paddling across the river to the recently fallen trees. Karl is barking on this bank. Huge black wings are flapping with that whoosh sound they make.

More curious now, I scan the other bank for what they might be eating. I see a light colored blob. Maybe it’s a beaver. Looks like a beaver from here.

By this time, My Girl, a Lab mixed with Rottweiler, is approaching what I see lying on the sandy bank between the two recently fallen snags extending into the middle of the river. A whirl of big black birds suddenly circles both sides of the river. She is barking them away from their meal. An iridescent crow is talking about it all from his vantage point at the tiptop of one of my trees. We’re all in a flutter, as I rise from my chair to see what I can see better.
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