Friday, May 01, 2009

Vultures in the Mist

The New River Gorge can fill with fog in an instant on days like today. When the rain stops for a few minutes, the mist lifts just as quickly. Along the river bottom, our group ooohed and aaahed over a cooperative Louisiana Water Thrush singing over the roar of water bouncing from one rock to another in the creek. I glanced around and saw a Turkey Vulture sitting on a snag by the railroad track.

In a swoosh of black wings, another vulture landed nearby, and seemed to be talking, or maybe whispering Vulture sweet nothings to the first one. Is this an American Gothic picture, or what? "Don't be too obvious, but that woman is watching us."

"Never fear, my darling! I will protect you!" Who would have imagined chivalry in Vultures?

Dandelion fluff is commonly noticed, but not seen in the spring. These caught my eye with "feathers" on the end of each little seed. Is this something other than regular yard dandelions? I don't remember the ones in my yard showing such character.

Returning to the van through the drippy woods, we find two box turtles. Apparently we have intruded on a turtle tryst, and this guy doesn't hesitate to glare at us with his bright red eye. His cigarette won't set the damp leaves on fire, so we discretely move on down the path.


Kimmy said...

Great photos, I really like the dandelion pictures great detail. Do you have a good zoom on your camera?
Thanks for sharing the photos.

denapple said...

Kimmy, I have a brand new Nikon Coolpix P90. It's a super point and shoot with a 24x zoom (624 mm equivalent), and a 26 mm equivalent on the wide angle. I love it! The screen rotates so you don't have to lay on your belly to photograph flowers.

Lynne said...

You know I ADORE Turkey Vultures don't you?