Sunday, August 1, 2021

Today's walk report: 080121

 Every now and again music makes a huge impact on my walks as recently indicated in this Once Upon a Walk Report. Today's playlist wasn't nearly so dramatic. However, it had its moments. 

My garden walks of late have had me driving part way. This all started because of an uncertainty about entering a "closed campus" due to Covid restrictions. Restrictions are pretty lax now but driving onto the campus still seems questionable. I called in May, I asked for permission to be on the grounds. Anyway, out of the car this morning at about 6:20 AM. I'm a little less than 1/2 a mile from the garden. I was feeling stiff getting out of the car but the first song on my phone got me bopping. It was Rebel Yell by Billy Idol. It was what the doctor ordered. Imagine, if you will, a 65 year old dude walking down a sidewalk playing air guitar.

The garden came quickly...

Hummingbird Dusty is reliable.

 It was rather cool and otherwise quiet in the garden so I decided it would be best to take on the dreaded stairs and get some decent exercise. This time I continued onto the other side of the hill. 

This construction had began a few years ago with the grading of the property although there was no indication as to what the development was going to be used for. Well, according to the sign down there it's the "Expanded Automotive Building." This school was originally focused on agriculture and animal husbandry. 

And the cows said, WTF?!

 This dove was so large I thought it was a bird of prey at first glance.

Just behind the campus, it looks like one of the neighbors got a nice project going during Covid shutdown.

Heading down the hill and back toward the car was a song by composer/performer Steven Wilson called "The Raven that Refused to Sing." It's about an 8 minute song. I've heard it many times. However, this was the first time I truly connected with the lyrics. Like other stories about ravens, this raven is an apparition. The raven is the protagonist's sister, who he lost as a child. 

Sister, I lost you,
When you were still a child,
But I need you now,
And I need our former life.
I'm afraid to wake,
I'm afraid to love.

But just because I'm weak,
You can steal my dreams.
You can reach inside my head,
And you can put your song there instead.
Please, come to me.
Please, stay with me.

I wandered in that for several minutes. Then I was distracted and my imagination took over with what I was seeing off in the distance. Imagine this, far away, listening to a song about a soul that manifests inside the body of a raven. My first impression was... this was a raven or a very large crow with a smaller bird on each side. Well, that can't be... right? We don't even have ravens in these parts. As I got closer I realized what I was seeing. 

Cathartes aura, a turkey vulture. This is only the second time I've ever photographed a turkey vulture perched and I've never seen one posed like this.

Correction: This is a black vulture (Coragyps atratus), not a turkey vulture. Apparently these birds are relatively rare to see in California. The closest proximity I’ve seen to Southern California on a distribution map is around Tucson, Arizona.


I don't believe in ghosts but I believe in memories and I believe in the power of stories.
Please get vaccinated if you haven't already done so and if you know someone who you care about who hasn't been vaccinated reason with them to do so... So they don't become a story in your life.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome report. Even though that’s the largest dove I’ve ever seen, I sure hope that turkey vulture wasn’t looking at him/her. I’ve been pushing vaccination big time here in Louisiana where rates are very low. Starting to pick up. Vicki and I were both exposed last week and not feeling well. Got tested yesterday and awaiting the results. Keeping my fingers crossed because I have a lot going on , including a vacation, in the next couple of weeks hanging in the balance.