He Sees Dead Things…

We had a visitor recently, who can see and smell dead things, but he doesn’t have the “sixth sense” and it’s not ghosts he sees. Well, I assume he doesn’t see ghosts:~) .

He visited two days in a row and sat in the same pine tree in our yard. I have to admit, he made me rather nervous. I could see him very well from our screened porch. The way he sat, kind of hunched and staring towards me, made me think of Poe’s poem, The Raven:~)

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I hope you can see from the picture, he’s a bit disconcerting and maybe even scary looking with his red and featherless head. However, this is exactly how I knew what kind of bird he is – a Turkey Vulture.

Turkey Vultures aren’t the most attractive looking birds, but they serve a very important role in nature. Without them, we might smell some really bad odors and even be exposed to dangerous bacteria.

Sometimes, Turkey Vultures are confused with the closely related Black Vulture. Both fall into the category of raptors in that they have talons, curved beaks and eat meat. However, the Black Vultures will kill prey as well as feed on dead animals.

Turkey Vultures don’t kill prey. Instead, they use their sight and excellent sense of smell, the largest of all birds, to find food as much as a mile away.

While lightweights at 2-4 pounds, these master flyers have a 6 foot wingspan. They are able to conserve their energy by using thermal currents to “float” in the skies, avoiding having to flap their wings as much as other birds.

They also mate for life and can live a long life. The average age is around 20 years, which is LONG for a bird. (source: Audubon Kern River Preserve)

buzzard_480So, even though he looks rather ugly, we should appreciate the Turkey Vulture. He does what none of us want to do; he cleans up dead things and, in turn, the dead provide the vulture and his babies with life.

I have to admit there’s something sort of beautiful about this. It proves again that everything has a purpose in life. And so, I leave you with this quote from The Lion King:

“Mufasa: “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.”

Simba: “But, Dad, don’t we eat the antelope?”

Mufasa: “Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” ~ The Lion King —Mufasa and Simba

Turkey Vultures are part of that “Circle of Life” all around us.

Want to know more about Turkey Vultures and some of their more unusual habits, go here:

Comment Box Questions:

Has a Turkey Vulture visited your house?

How did the Turkey Vulture get his name?

Why is it a bad idea to scare a vulture? (Ok, you’ll have research this, but it is funny:~)

Working Hard

 

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I’m working hard to complete a project and will be away from my blog.

I still plan to visit, but will not have a new post until I return.

If you’ve stopped by, I thank you and here are a few older posts you might enjoy:

Life Lessons: The Value of Kindness

Building Self Confidence: Count Your Successes

A Bridget Jones Affirmation

See you soon:~)

 

 

Every Day Gifts

Every-Day-Gifts_480Sometimes gifts don’t come wrapped up in fancy paper with silk ribbons.

Sometimes they don’t look like gifts at all…at least not in the beginning.

Sometimes they’re just everyday moments that turn into gifts.

Sometimes they’re actions, like a friendly smile, a hug, or pat on the back.

Sometimes they’re words, like “I love you,” “You’re special” or “It will be okay.”

Sometimes we give them to someone else who needs them.

Sometimes they’re given to us when we need them.

*     *     *     *     *

I wrote this because lately I’ve been given some gifts I didn’t expect. They weren’t what I asked for, but just what I needed.

They didn’t come  wrapped up in the fancy paper and silk ribbons. They were just everyday moments that happened in my life.

They were the kind word I gave to someone who needed it or the  laugh someone gave me when I needed it. In both cases, I got gifts!

I could have easily not noticed them as the gifts they were, but the Universe was sneaky and whispered in my ear reminding me.

It’s good to pay attention to the every day gifts in life. Sometimes, they are the most precious gifts of all:~)

What about YOU?

What every day moment in your life has been a precious gift to you recently?

Have you given an every day gift of a smile or a kind word to someone recently? If so, care to share about it and how did it made you feel?

Life’s Gift to Me

JC and I got married during Thanksgiving with both of us recovering from some really mean flu bug. Being sick made planning a wedding challenging. Still, things had to be done and neither of us had much energy to get them done.

While feeling lousy waiting at a UPS store one day, I hosted my own pity party. It didn’t seem fair to feel so rotten at a time when I wanted to be happy and excited. To divert myself, I looked around the store.

That’s when I saw it. It was just a poster hanging on the wall. You know the kind. You’ve seen lots of them before. They always have some motivational quote. Usually I don’t read them, but I needed stay awake and forced myself to read the words in that poster.

When I got to the end, I didn’t feel so bad any more. As a matter of fact, I smiled. The words in the poster said exactly what I needed that day. They were better than a hug. Sometimes life just gives you an unexpected gift or kick in the butt, depending on how you want to look at it.

This poster became my holiday gift to myself. It’s going to hang next to my desk. When I’m feeling ornery and mentally cussing out my life, I want to read the words of the poster and be reminded just how precious life’s moments really are. Here’s the poster and I added the words in case you can’t read them in the poster:

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“Life. Find a passion and pursue it. Fall in love. Dream big. Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends. Laugh every day. Believe in magic. Tell stories. Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism to the future. Travel often. Learn more. Be creative. Spend time with people you admire. Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves. Love with all your heart. Never give up. Do what you love. Be true to who you are. Make time to enjoy the simple things in life. Spend time with family. Forgive even when it’s hard. Smile often. Be grateful. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Follow your dreams. Try new things. Work hard. Don’t count the minutes count the laughs. Embrace change. Trust in yourself. Be thankful. Be nice to everyone. Be happy. Live for today. And above all, make every moment count.”

By the way, the poster was designed by Louise Carey. I recommend visiting her site.