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Creek Running North

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January 01, 2005

Cathartes aura

Three of them in a plum tree this morning, turkey vultures, shivering after a rainstorm and spreading their wings to dry out.

Mallards again, and surfing the rapids again. Becky and Zeke and I watched from the bridge. Another vulture circled down in from the hills, broad white chevrons on her underside wheeling against blue sky. The mallards, about a dozen of them, dabbled upended in the slow eddy. The males waded onto the bank, stuck bills into the muddy grass.

The creek was café con leche, and it flowed steady. The air was moist with past rain.

Earlier we had let the rabbit and guinea pig run loose in the backyard. They were glad for the sunshine, which lasted only a few minutes. A rainbow formed to the west against a backdrop of dark gray. With the first few drops, Harley shrieked to be brought inside. Thistle waited until he was wet, then streaked for the shelter of the coffee table.

But the rain stopped again and we went down to the creek with the dog. The female mallards' loud cries echoed off the far trees, off the walls of the senior center. The males' call was a low quacky murmuring, a grumbling to themselves. One after another, turkey vultures spread their wings in the pale breeze.

My mother's pacemaker installation went well. She was resting happily if irritably when I called in the afternoon. A routine surgery, and yet what a marked relief not to have to freight those morning vultures with heavy familial import.

Posted by Chris Clarke at January 1, 2005 11:42 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs


I'm glad you got some relief to the worry of your mom's health.

Posted by: susurra at January 2, 2005 09:14 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Happy New Year, Chris. And I'm glad your mom is OK and not multiplying metaphors for you.

Posted by: beth at January 2, 2005 06:25 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs