A flock of tame vultures is not on my agenda. (Before I go further, I know full well that purists will say that a flock of vultures is called a committee.) At any rate, it's enough that I feed more wild things than a zoo without having to provide a meal for the vultures. These birds that I find fascinating are marvels of biologic engineering, built to do what they do best in the most sanitary, efficient way possible. Every morning now they sit on posts around the goat pen, warming themselves with wings spread to the morning sun. They used to fly away when I approached but, over time, they've let me come closer before moving a post or two down the line. As I was leaving the pen yesterday, one of the big birds was perched on the post by the gate. Walking slowly, I kept going up the slope. Vultures have large, dark eyes, and this one was watching me but made no move. He (she?) let me get within three feet, almost touching distance, and sat there still. Did this wild thing trust me? Was it as curious about me as I was about it? For a long moment, I stood there and we simply looked at each other. Then the spell was broken and we each went about the business of the day. It was magical while it lasted.
It is the first day of December. Thanksgiving, the kickoff to the holiday season, is behind us. My crew is going to celebrate Christmas the weekend after the 25th, but I'm already feeling the pressure. Three weeks and then some and I know without a doubt that, even so, I will be running late. Since I don't run as fast as I used to, I'm going to try to be a little more prepared this year. (I say that every year, so good luck with that.) The Big One is getting closer.