Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Vultures are Circling!

I was sitting in the sand under the scorching desert sun with my back against a large boulder. There was a trail in the sand because I had been crawling for the last 1/2 mile. My empty canteen had been tossed to the side of the trail about a mile or so back. I scanned the horizon, and all I could see was a rocky mesa and hundreds of vultures circling overhead. I raised my fist and yelled "I'm not dead yet!!! Damn you!!!" But vultures can somehow sense pending death, and their patience is legendary. These vultures weren't going anywhere, no matter how much I yelled!!
Sound like something right out of a vintage Hollywood western? Well, it is! On my last hike, I saw huge numbers of vultures circling overhead. Vultures don't, in fact, circle above dead or dying things. Check out this link if you're interested in reading more. But I must admit, when I see vultures off in the distance, my first thought is usually "I wonder what died?" When I see them overhead I usually chuckle and think to myself "I must be in worse shape than I thought!!" Chalk it up to watching too many westerns as a kid!


Got to enjoy this beautiful moon for the entire hike.
Vultures cruising the thermals with the moon in the background!
Vulture over Barker Dam

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints"
Thanks for stopping by!!

53 comments:

  1. Nice ones again. Especially nr 2 and the last one.

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  2. Nice blogs with great photos again, I specially like the first shot of the moon and the last one with the vulture over Barker Dam.

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  3. Did bring back snatches of “Old Turkey Buzzard” . I would have got scared and run away rather than take photos ;)

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  4. Gorgeous shots! Nice to see water in Barker Dam. I worry more when the Condors are circling.

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  5. The vultures are pretty from a distance.

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  6. Nice captures of the circling vultures. I love the last photo, it's perfect!

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  7. Peter, these are stunning especially the moon one. If you don't mind me asking, what camera do you use?

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    1. Thank you, Angie!! I use a beat-up, scratched-up old Canon 5D mark II that I love. The vast majority of my photos are taken through a Canon 16-35mm lens. It's a nice combination for landscape photography.

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  8. Finally water in desert :-). Beautiful captures!

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  9. I love your melodrama. I agree that vultures don't circle over dead stuff. At least I don't think so.
    Years ago I built a compressor station down in southeast Oklahoma (in "True Grit" country). It was a near a pass in what they call mountains called "Buzzard Gap" - yep it is on maps that way and buzzards circled buzzard gap all the time that I was there.
    I guess because of the updrafts.

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  10. The moon and Barker dam images are very nice, but you still have the best header photo in the entire blogosphere. Have a blessed week-end.

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  11. So beautiful and the writing isn't bad either my friend. Can't wait for the next installment of the Perils of Spare Parts and Sand!

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  12. Yes, stunning. But that last one takes the cake! Occasionally we see turkey vultures here---in and amongst the Eagles, Osprey, hawks, etc. Not the prettiest birds on the block.

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  13. Hello, what a great post and I love the vulture photos. I have seen vultures and hawks kettle in the thermals during migration. It is a cool sight. But, the vultures will circle while searching for food, they can smell their food. Love your moon shots and the last scene is beautiful. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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  14. All beautiful, but the last Barker Dam photo was so amazing. And don't make that Hollywood movie come true! (and now, I will educate myself more about vultures).

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  15. Love that last shot.

    If I could soar around enjoying a sunny day, I know that's pretty much all I would do.

    With luck...I pick up my new Goldwing today. But Murphy has ruled for weeks, so we'll see.

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  16. That is a lot of vultures! We usually see only 4 or 5 at a time here.
    Love the last photo - so pretty!

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  17. Just loved the post. Awesome pics.

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  18. Bit like our kites then cruising the thermals like that though ours do tend to circle over dead animals waiting their chance to swoop down and collect the carcus

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  19. What an adventurer you are and divine photos of the sky ~ very creative ~ vultures and all!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

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  20. How beautiful photos, especially the last one !

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  21. You are funny. Although I would think the same thing if I were in your shoes. They might know something I don't.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  22. Amazing views of the flocks of vultures.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  23. Captivating! Great shots of the circling vultures.

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  24. Beautiful photos of the vultures, especially the one with the moon.

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  25. Stunning photos of circling vultures especially in the 2nd photo and the last one at Barker Dam!

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  26. Even vultures are beautiful against the blue sky and the amazing moon. Terrific photographs.

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  27. Hi! It looks you would adventure many places all the year round. It's very cool! The photo of vultures with the moon is very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Wonderful - the photos, the hammy old intro, the moon, just wonderful!

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  29. Wonderful photos, and I read the link about vultures. Fascinating! And here all my life I thought they were circling something dead.

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  30. nice shots! my dad use to watch alot of vintage westerns when I was growing up so to me vultures are kinda scary.

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  31. Last photo is my favorite capture. Beautiful!

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  32. Great images and thanks for the link. I, too, have seen too many Westerns growing up!

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  33. There are so many black vultures in Florida, where we spend more time lounging in the sun than we do out here in the Northwest! Every time they fly overhead we remind each other to wave our arms or move in some way. (Although like you we actually know better.) A childhood filled with Saturday matinees .... Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes (he was the one who always died wasn't he?) and the Sons of the Pioneers singing about the shifting whispering sands and the 'buzzards'. Silly memories. Your photos are beautiful.

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    1. Those are wonderful memories, Sallie! Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers are well known in the Joshua Tree area. They reportedly purchased a desert area out here to use as a place to stay while they filmed their westerns. It's called Pioneertown and still a popular destination today!

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  34. Ver buitres dando vuelta en el cielo siempre hace pensar en un muerto aunque no sea verdad, la imagen siempre es algo siniestra.
    Saludos

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  35. Peter,

    WOW, I always thought the same thing about vultures! Thanks for education and debunking the myth I've grown to think of as truth all my life. I love your photos! As always your landscape is so contracting to mine which is magical and interesting. I hope to visit the southwest someday. Thanks for visiting on Friday. It's been a wild weekend and I'm just now getting around to everyone who stopped by my place. Have a pAwesome week!

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  36. You really sucked me in with that first paragraph - I thought - he has finally taken too many risks! Glad you are still ALIVE and able to keep posting your superb photos!

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  37. Some "dramatic" skies ! Like them very much. The photo with the birds makes me think of Hitchcock, lol !

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  38. These photos are so beautiful!! So glad that I stumbled upon your blog!
    https://kapturezine.wordpress.com

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  39. Such an interesting link Peter, I must admit I'm guilty of jumping to the wrong conclusion also ☺ The desert certainly throws out some incroyable skies, beautiful captures here.

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  40. I don't see many vultures here in Colorado--more hawks and if we are lucky, eagles, but I'm sure they would give me the creeps if I saw them circling overheard from watching too many westerns in my childhood!

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  41. Really nice photos Pete! Maybe the start to this post, will be the first chapter in your desert survival book!

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  44. Interesting informations about vultures. If I'd see them I'd think the same, that something is dead in the area.

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