Being a Minnesota boy, I always thought that our dangerous animals were timber wolves and moose and that’s it, and that here in North Carolina, panthers and bears and red wolves and wild boar and lynx comprised what was dangerous and that’s it. But now I’m meeting up with huge numbers of vultures. I’ve never seen anything like it.
While out on Communion Calls yesterday I disturbed a “WAKE OF VULTURES”, which is what a group of turkey buzzards are called when they are feeding on a carcass. Gruesome. The fellow pictured here takes a bit of looking at to see what you are looking at. Even though he is flying away, his head is turned back and looking directly at you, staring at you, noting who you are, saying to you ever so dreadfully: “You’re not so big. Fifty of us could finish you off in a few minutes! Just you wait!”
This is about the northernmost stretch of their normal territory, which means the ones in these parts can have a wing-span edging on toward seven feet. What a fright! What scares me about these guys is that they can congregate in enormous groups. Down the way in Brevard there is always a “KETTLE OF VULTURES” (meaning they are in flight, stirring around as in a vortex in a kettle), near the Triangle Marathon gas station on the Southwestern end of town. But out here in the Smoky Mountains, just yesterday, I saw a KETTLE nearby that had what looked to be 175 vultures, no exaggeration. I thought perhaps more like 225. I mean, what are they planning to feed on up there? Why do they wait, stirring the kettle like that? It seems to me that if they put their minds to it, they could easily kill live prey just by sheer numbers, including human prey. Yikes! So many!
Anyway, an active imagination is sharpened by not watching TV! (I don’t have one.) I heartily recommend just taking in the show outside. It’s refreshing. That helps purity of heart, agility of soul. Nature is absolutely wonderful. Most entertaining. Having said that, here’s a heart-stopping video of a just-born calf. The vultures are demons. Relentless. But, with a little love, they are stoppable, and yet, oh my…
If you want to make it that demons will have a really difficult time trying to bother you, regular confession is the best way to go. If you are repentant, that’s pretty much a guarantee of purity of heart and agility of soul. And you’ll have plenty of mama cows, that is, guardian angels, to protect you. [I’m now ducking for cover, having just compared my guardian angel to a mama cow!]