Saturday, May 14, 2011
|Turkey Vultures on their feeding platform (in my backyard)|
photo by Jonathan Schechter 05/14/11
For two weeks vultures have been waiting and soaring and swinging low over my meadow as if to ask me one word, "When?" Feeding turkey vultures is not for everyone. It means presenting not so fresh flesh. Bloated is good. Fresh is not. I have been feeding vultures for the past three years and am awed by their grace in sky. Watch them ride the thermals and it is pure poetry in motion.
Four days ago a neighbor - aware of my odd habit - presented me with a freshly flattened groundhog. Today I came home from running errands and everything fell into place: they came home for dinner. My camera was in my car and a light drizzle made it less likely the vultures would rapidly take wing. But perhaps most importantly they had become acclimated to my presence. And from the looks of the remains of the groundhog - not much left - these three gluttonous birds were quite content just resting with bellys of not so fresh flesh. I never left my car to get the picture. I lowered the window and snapped one clear shot from the edge of the driveway above my meadow. But I know now, and they do too, that I will be a presenter of fleshy goodies for another season.
Now all I need is a good telephoto lens and the real fun will begin! My goal: A photo of the beaked, red faced featherless head disappearing inside a body cavity. That is their way. We use a steak knife.