Vultures are Unexpected
Saturday morning’s walk provided an unexpected inspiration for my Alpha-blog series. About ten minutes into my walk I first heard, then spotted strange activity off the main trail. Rustling noises off to the right attracted my attention; I slowed to find the source of the noise and then noticed about a dozen large black birds about fifty feet into the woods. At first I thought they were turkeys, a quick first impulse thought. That conclusion was primed in my thoughts because on Friday a friend told me she saw a turkey on the nearby and connected Salado Creek Greenway walking trail. But as I looked more closely, the realization set in that my first impression was wrong (read Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow by Daniel Haheman to learn more about first impressions and primed conclusions).
Vultures. Hopping up and down, each jostling for position over some unseen carrion presented a completely unexpected sight. San Antonio Texas is the seventh largest city the US making it a major city, but residents know that San Antonio is really an oasis in the semi-arid south and west Texas. Vultures are neither unknown nor unusual visitors to the city. Numerous vultures perched on lamp posts on local roadways can be seen daily; one day earlier this year my wife phoned me to tell me there were two of the scavenger birds feasting on a squirrel in our front yard. She activated the car alarm to scare them away so she could leave.
Various visiting vultures ventured into the vicinity of our view seeking victuals ventured onto my verse (I had to use a lot of V’s). Now back to my thoughts about the unexpected.
Unexpected was the presence of a large number of the birds. But not as unexpected as what happened on my return to that spot about 15 minutes later in my walk. A young woman was on the path watching a man coming out of the woods.
“A deer, an eight-point buck,” he shouted. Curiosity made him leave the path to discern the vulture’s meal. Deer are not uncommon in the area, nor is the sight of dead deer along the roadways in the area; but the sight of a large number of vultures feeding on the dead deer was a surprise. Life is full of unexpected events and surprises. Some pleasant, some distributing and others just breaks in the routine of daily life. A man coming out of the woods two weeks before Halloween with the sight of vultures behind him was more than a bit unexpected. It was spooky.
Sunday morning produced another taste of the unexpected, nothing really special or noteworthy, just unexpected. As I prepared to meet my son for our Sunday morning walk, in the same park, it started to rain. I had gone out earlier to pickup the newspaper from the driveway and the weather didn’t seem to portent rain. None the less, minutes before I was going to leave it started to rain, and a bit of wind and cool air followed. A quick call to my son and our walk was off, but then the unexpected followed. My wife joined me on the patio for coffee and the Sunday paper.
|Not our patio|
Nothing spectacular, just unexpected. Life is full of twists and turns. Some good, some bad and most turn out to be just different. This weekend’s unexpected events were not especially significant or earthshaking, just interesting little twists and turns of life. And it provided an opportunity to use V and U in my Alpha-blog series. Two letters in one blog. Unexpected.