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Sunday specialties

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Someone we know took this photo and sent it to me after I made my virtuous vultures post a while back. She noted the large nostrils on the beak of this bird and suggested that they were how these high-soaring birds can find offal so quickly. The chicken gizzards I had left before the game camera at Roundrock were partially hidden beneath trees, yet the vultures had found them quickly — faster even than any land-based critters had.

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Alas, my heavy lifter is moving away (again). #1 Son Seth, who can always be cajoled into going out to the woods with me and doing all of the hard work, is heading off to graduate school in a couple of weeks. He’ll be down in the Missouri Ozarks at his college in Rolla, studying environmental engineering, and maybe he could still find time to meet us halfway at Roundrock. But by and large, my muscle man is off living his own life now (or will be soon). My other offspring are off living their lives too. Expect to read accounts of my aching muscles in future posts about our visits to the woods.

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You have only two days to get your submissions to Beau over at Fox Haven Journal for the next Festival of the Trees. His deadline is July 29, so don’t delay! You can send him your links to foxhavenjournal [at] gmail [dot] com or by using the handy online submission form.

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The late, lamented Homesteading Hickory Hills. You will be missed, Ron. We’ve been given a second chance! Head on over to Ron’s brilliantly bodacious blog and let him know how much better the internet is with him around, won’t you?

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One year ago I was writing about yellow coneflowers. That plant didn’t come up on the dam this year.

Two years ago I was seeing fire rings that probably weren’t there.

Three years ago I was pondering some bent wire that had puzzled me.

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What’s Pablo reading now: I’ve picked up The Age of Reason by none other than Thomas Paine. It’s been on my reading shelf for more than ten years, and I’m embarrassed to have neglected such an important work for so long.

Missouri calendar:

  • Warblers begin to gain weight for energy during migration.

Today in Missouri history:

  • The Zebulon Pike, the first steamboat to reach St. Louis, arrived on this date in 1817. It made the trip from Louisville in a mere six weeks.

4 Responses to “Sunday specialties”

  1. karl Says:

    i regularly see colonies of vultures along the roadsides. one interesting observation that i have witnessed is; vultures seem to avoid household pets. do you think it is what we are feeding them?

  2. FC Says:

    Will this mean more comfy chair time?

  3. robin andrea Says:

    Hey, I recognize that vulture! I just checked Wikipedia to see if there is another word for bird nostrils, and of course, there is: nares. Here is a bit of what the internets say about vultures:

    The Turkey Vulture forages by smell, an ability that is uncommon in the avian world. It often will fly low to the ground to pick up the scent of ethyl mercaptan, a gas produced by the beginnings of decay in dead animals. The olfactory lobe of its brain, responsible for processing smells, is particularly large compared to that of other animals. This heightened ability to detect odors allows it to search for carrion below the forest canopy.

    I also read that a vulture’s nares is perforated, which means you can see through the beak. What a creature!

    A little summer reading here: roger just finished reading Daniel Quinn’s “The Story of B” and I am racing through Orson Scott Card’s “Enchantment.” I don’t usually read fantasy, but this is quite a tale. Both recommended.

    Congrats to Seth on his grad school journey.

  4. Ron Says:

    I get a little nervous when those big birds eye the gizzards on my chickens. :)

    I need to grow me a muscle man for around here. :)

    Ron

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