|Black vultures fluffing their neck ruffs against Florida's amazing and constant clouds.|
|Sabal palms from below|
|Sabal palms from Myakka's canopy walkway|
|Black vultures at the beach in Myakka. |
Sunning in the horaltic pose, this black vulture clearly shows the whitish underwing tip patch,
whereas on turkey vultures, the entire back half of the wing appears silvery from underneath.
We set up camp, ate and pretty much fell asleep before the stars even came out. That night, we never woke to see Halley's comet, but 24 years later I still remember that black vulture meditating in the shadows. That's kinda how Florida is - nothing fancy, but simple moments of earthy truth which subtly creep up on you later.
|Black vultures on dead manatee on river in northern Florida. We saw this while canoeing.|
Unfortunately, slow and submerged manatees are often hit by motorboats which can lead to their injury and death.
I slept right through the Perseid meteor shower again this year, but I continue to look skyward for vultures. Silly as that adventure sounds, I keep it as a fond memory of my early naturalist days in Florida, and I am pleased to have cycled back to a relationship with vultures. If it takes me a quarter of a century to slowly move from plants to wildlife, I guess I might be doing stars in another lifetime because there's an awful lot of insects out there. In the meantime, I just read Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood with its intimate descriptions of the piney flatwoods and an amazing story about the indigo snake which I also saw once in Myakka River State Park. If you are thinking about visiting Myakka, I recommend fall or winter when the temperature and humidity are more moderate and the migrating birds are passing through or visiting. Canoeing with the alligators is fun anytime of year.
|Visiting Myakka in 2007 with a fellow New College alumna.|
I made it to be a 50-something, intact, currently on a vulture quest.
Hilarious vulture quotes at 10,000 Birds blog