Sunday, November 27, 2005

Buzzards in the Sky

Saw several turkey vultures circling the sky over the Ocaquan River. They were massive birds floating on the warm currents. I kept wondering why these beautiful birds (on the wing) got such a bad rap. I guess what I was watching was a group of vultures playing.

Circling vultures do not necessarily indicate the presence of a carcass. Circling vultures may be gaining altitude for long flights, searching for food, or playing.

A group of vultures is called a "Venue". Vultures circling in the air are a "Kettle".

+ Vulture poop is actually a sanitizer! Their uric acid is so strong (because of the nature of their diets) that it kills bacteria.

From the Turkey Vulture Society

“Turkey vulture can assist you in developing your own sense of smell that you can use effectively in all areas of your life. It will help you to decide whether or not something doesn’t quite smell right in your life.” Copyright: “Animal-Speak”, Ted Andrews.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Charles Darwin's pet tortoise turned 175

Charles Darwin's pet tortoise turned 175 yesterday. That is a long
time even in "turtle years". Harriet came scampering out of her
tortoise shell in 1830. That was the same year that Joseph Smith
published "The Book of Mormon", and the same year as Emily Dickenson
was born and the year that Edwin Beard Budding invented the lawn
mower, which being a vegetarian might have been of more interest to

Harriet was only 5 years old when Charles Darwin saw how cute she
was and he put her in his cabin aboard the HMS Beagle. When they
got to Australia Darwin was probably afraid that their sailing ship
might get becalmed in the "horse latitudes" or in the Saragossa Sea
and then little Harriet would surely end up in the stew pot; so
Darwin left little Harriet in Australia; where she has been ever
since munching the veggies and lettuce that her keepers gave her.

She was 18 when the German Rune master Guido von List was born.

She was 29 when the world's first oil well was drilled.

She was 35 when the American Civil War ended.

She was 49 when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.

Harriet was 78 years old the last time the Chicago Cubs won the
World Series, (though it may of course be impossible for any
creature to live long enough to see the Cubs win another World

Harriet was 81 when Ronald Reagan was born.

She was 139 when men first landed on the Moon, and yesterday Charles
Darwin's pet tortoise Harriet turned 175 years old.

Copyright: Edward A. Anderson II


Turtle's Teachings:

"Since Turtle carries its home on its back, it has also been recognized as having the ability to 'manage' in difficult circumstances. Turtle has good hearing and can sense movement in the water through the membranes in the skin. Turtle even has a sense of smell and pretty good eyesight, reminding us not to judge any of our relations by outward appearances." Copyright: Unknown.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Squirrels Going Nuts in the Fall

It's fall and it's hot in D.C. We have had 70 degree weather for the past month. This meant more animals out and about getting ready for winter. The squirrels behind my building have been very busy burying their nuts. It is fun to watch them squirrel about.

Squirrel's Advice to People:
“Squirrel reminds us to stay dedicated to our goals. If we persevere, we will succeed.” Copyright: “The Animal-Wise Tarot”, Ted Andrews.

The U.S. Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE) has Reddy Squirrel to offer advice on preventing your home from being burned in a forest fire. Reddy says... Plan for fire by creating defensible space within 100 feet of your home and by building with fire resistant materials.