Monday, August 26, 2002

Fred First at Fragments From Floyd blogs on the topic of vultures today. We get more than our share around here. They fly the thermals coming off the ridge line of Skyline Drive back behind the house, circling for road kill on Browntown Road, or letting us know that one of our older sheep has gone on to her last reward. The native turkey vultures are with us all year. We are on a migration route for black vultures. It is not unusual to have a tree full next to the driveway, roosting until the air warms up on spring mornings.

Last summer we had a young black vulture with an injured wing on the farm. He would never let you get close enough to catch him, but he had the run of the place for the month or so he was here. An odd sight, a giant ugly black bird running through Susan's rose garden. I used to see him standing on a large rock in the pasture, looking for something dead. I always wondered, if he did find food, would he walk around it in big circles first? I never did find out what happened to him; did he heal and fly off, get caught by something larger and meaner than he was, or just simply hike over the next hill, hissing and snapping on his way?
I read James Lilek's Bleat with the morning coffee. He is always worth a minute of my time, but today's piece is exceptional. He takes on the case of the radio "shock jocks" who encouraged a (embarrassingly enough) couple from Virginia to have sex during mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Or more to the point, he takes on those who think the swift response of the radio station was a bad thing. He goes on to confront the entire modern genre of "transgressive" art:

It’s the work of people so jaded they think that intellectual bravery is defined not by the traditions you honor, but the ones you debase.