Monday, November 25, 2013

Love-Bird Warmth on a Cold, Wet Day

It is still cold; it is still raining; and there is NO WAY I’m going to complain.  Although not my first choice, I AM in a stick house with a natural gas furnace and well-insulated walls.  And more importantly, I have a new-enough phrase in my life that I’m still getting used to it:  “I don’t have to get up and go to work!”  “Retirement”, on a cold, rainy, Monday morning; it IS a wonderful thing.

Funny thing though; now I think of situations in terms of adopting a dog.  Would she like the rocky, river-bed hiking trails of my beloved hill country?  Would she enjoy an hour walk when the day’s weather is lovely?  Would she love the RVing lifestyle?  And this morning, as I stayed under the covers for the warmth:  Would she be ready to do her doggy business if I take her out in the cold rain, with little walking or outdoor time?   (I like these questions a lot more than wondering if my old workplace parking lot would be flooded this morning, causing me to don rubber boots for a 7:15 a.m. arrival at my old, always-cold office.)
So from the warmth of my stick house, I’m not complaining, but I AM thinking of my RVing friends and missing the lifestyle (3 more months but who is counting?).  And on this wet, cold day I’m not going to send words that emphasize the cold, or mention that I can run a hot bath when feeling chilled-to-the bones:


Instead, I thought I’d share a couple of photos from Brazos Bend; love birds that took me by surprise.   I thought they might bring a warm smile:


As mentioned before, new world vultures tend to get a bad rap from we humans; mainly, I think, because we cast judgment and label them as scavengers, rather than honoring their important clean-up-committee work.  And, if we are honest, we’d admit to casting negative judgment against vultures due to their feathered “looks”, just as their canine cousins are mostly passed-over at adoption shelters, falling victim to what is now called “black dog syndrome”. 

But I ask you, before judging these carrion eaters too harshly, how often do we Americans catch and kill, or grow and harvest, our own food?  How frequently do we rely on our own hands to catch the fish we eat; or the chicken and red meat?  Do we grow all of our own fruits and vegetables, or do we rely on someone else to work the fields and orchards that bring produce to our tables?  Are we hawks or are we vultures?
I walked Brazos Bend last week and was caught by surprise at the serenity that I found in these two love birds, these two Black Vultures.

I could feel the warmth of their duality; their togetherness.  Whether mates or friends or relatives, these two were together, both in rest, and in watchfulness.  Is there any kind of love greater than the love of mates or friends or relatives who are there for each other, through good times and bad?  The love of two who actively watch out for each other and know how to help each other? 
I watched these two love birds as they quietly, but actively, watched out for each other’s backs.  How can we not envy their love?  Aren’t they beautiful?

Stay safe in wintry travels; stay warm in the place you land; and may all your days be birdy days.


  1. That heron in the water doesn't exactly make me feel warmer. :)

    Maybe Wednesday the sun will shine.

  2. Some of us are neither hawks nor vultures... We're kingfishers!

  3. Maybe if these vultures were as big or rare as condors they would get a better rap. They are as graceful in the air as anything that flys. RC


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