Posted in Air, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Wonder

Purifying breeze

New vision
New vision

Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see nothing but the light? … Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?

~ Tao Te Ching

Patience
Patience

Up until recently, I’ve never thought of the Turkey Vulture as a beautiful bird.  In flight, yes, it  is graceful and beautiful.  But perched on a rooftop or a tree, or standing on the ground?  Not so much.

The Greeks thought the vulture was a descendant of the griffin.
The Greeks thought the vulture was a descendant of the griffin.

Watching them as they roost on the pavilion and spread their wings for the sun, I’ve come to see what wonderful birds they are.  The scientific name, Cathartes aura, means either “golden purifier” or “purifying breeze.”  Listening to their wings as they fly overhead, I think “purifying breeze” suits them well.

In the tree tops
In the tree tops

When I’m in the woods, I have seen them fly so close to the tops of the trees that I could hear the branches rustle.  It amazes me that the trees don’t knock them out of the sky.  They can ride the thermals, warm air rising from the earth,  and windborne updrafts, for long periods of time.  Flying without having to flap their wings as if defying gravity, they don’t have to expend a lot of their own energy to remain in flight because they use other energy available to them.

Over water
Over water

Mother Nature has given the Turkey Vulture the job of cleaning up.  They never kill, just clean up the kills of others.  Some believe the Turkey Vulture is symbolic of the cleansing of the soul, and the overcoming of obstacles by cleaning them up bit by bit, day by day, as an offering of service to the world.

The Turkey Vulture lives here on the Eastern Shore year-round.  In northeast Ohio, a town called Hinkley celebrates the return of the buzzards (as they call them) on March 15.  The  return of the buzzards to Hinkley is a harbinger of spring.

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing.
Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing this morning.

The vultures, of course, are not the only big, beautiful birds around here.  The Great Blue Heron who regularly visits the lagoon seems to be getting used to us.  We can’t get too close, but at least we can get closer.

Touch down
Touch down

I reckon that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this gorgeous Friday.  It is wonderfully warm and sunny, the perfect day to spend outdoors.  I’ll be in the garden for a while.  Feel free to join me out there, or seek out one of the benches if rest suits you better than working in the garden.  Sunset is at 7:15 this evening.  Since it’s Friday, we’ll bring wine or beer.  Meet us out on the dock about twenty minutes before that, and we can toast the sun as it slips behind the trees.

Soupy twist!

In flight this afternoon.
In flight this afternoon.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Today’s joys:  Lovely, warm and sunny weather; a long walk; spending time with and learning about the Turkey Vultures; a good discussion about possibilities and opportunities; fresh seafood for dinner.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

16 thoughts on “Purifying breeze

  1. Soupy twist? I must have missed something, lol!
    Love the blue herons as always. A turkey vulture is definitely not something I’ve ever considered a thing of beauty, but it is nice you found something beautiful about it. Still waiting for the real warmth of spring, but at least the snow is melting here!

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    1. lol! It’s a test, Karma. Just want to see if anyone recognizes it. If not, I’ll reveal all later. 😀 Until I started considering it yesterday, I never would have thought of a turkey vulture as a thing of beauty, either. Watching them sun themselves was a revelation of sorts, and then learning how much they do for the environment was another. It would be pretty stinky here without the turkey vultures around to clean things up. 🙂

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      1. Well, you know I had to go Google “soupy twist” now. And I am intrigued. Going to see if I can find that series to watch anywhere – seems like it would be up my alley!

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          1. I meant to add, Karma, that we found the series on Netflix. Not sure if they have it streaming. We’ve been getting the DVD’s (our limited satellite connection wouldn’t allow much streaming).

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  2. Oh, I do love the Great Blue Herons! My favorite birds. The reflection of the Turkey Buzzard on the water is beautiful. Such great images. Hey, Soupy Fry until the next installment! 😉

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  3. I looked into Vultures Robin, when I did my tribute poem, Rüppell’s Vulture and as you say they do the job they’re designed for so, so well, High Flyers .. Natures Cleaners, … she’s such a wonderful planner is Nature, everything fits, like cogs in a wheel enabling smooth running. They’re so big and beautiful, to me too, and Purifying Breeze suits them perfectly. and gorgeous shots of the Blue Heron, wow, erm…can I just stay on this bench? ’tis so warm, I’ll just sit n’ ponder, with my eyes closed !! 😉 Happy New Trails, and keep the posts acoming, xPenx

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    1. Thank you, Pen. 🙂 Mother Nature is indeed a wonderful planner. It amazes me sometimes how she managed to fit so many things together the way she did. Pure genius.

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  4. I have always loved to watch the turkey vultures soar, wished I could fly like that, but that’s the only part of their lives I wish I could emulate. Thank you for the lovely happy spring note. I sent you a secret thank you on my blog.

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  5. Lovely images and post, Robyn! I especially love that shadow on water image. We have turkey vultures here too, though only seasonally (they migrate south of the border in winter). One magical morning we walked outside to find seven of them sitting in one of our trees, with their wings spread out in the sunshine – they weren’t up all that high so we had a good view. It was quite the sight! It’s only happened once – the rest of the time I just see them flying.

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  6. Looks like it was a beautiful day to be outside taking photographs! Super photos Robin, cool turkey vulture, we have them around here a lot but mostly the American Black Vultures. I did a post on them months ago. Great shots of the Great Blue Heron, love the reflection photo. When we go to Hilton Head I spend a lot of time taking photos of the Great Blue Herons and Egrets, I love the big birds.

    Have a great weekend! 🙂
    Michael

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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