Yesterday, the yellow dog and I were piddling around the workshop when we heard strange sounds emanating from the strip of trees at the end of the garden. It must have been of animal origin, but sounded alien and joyous. Suddenly, Shrek exploded off in a sprint, his hackles raised. Exploded may be too strong a word here. He is by far not the fastest dog I’ve known (that would be the beautiful Bronte), but neither is he the very slowest (that would be the basset Waldo). Halfway down the garden barking, Shrek slowed at the intimidating sound of large wings gaining altitude. Immediately, I realized I knew those weird sounds of a minute before, it was the vocalizations of happy vultures over carrion. As I walked the garden and wondered what the dead animal would be, two buzzards awkwardly landed in a tree above me.
I could no longer see yellow Shrek, but I noticed one buzzard was looking downward. With it just being the pair, I assumed it was the black vulture couple that lives here every spring and not bigger turkey vultures. (Though smaller than turkey vultures and eagles, black vultures still have a nearly six foot wingspan.)
This was not good news for the Shrek below as black vultures can be quite aggressive. If he was sniffing around their meal, they might run him off. I wasn’t concerned, though. Shrek may be of pure heart as my dog consultant says, but he is not known for his courage. No dog has such a talent for quick retreat as my yellow one.
I reached the trees to find Shrek in full investigative mode. We searched but there was no dead animal, no rotting husk of a deer or raccoon or ground hog. Shrek kept returning to one spot, indicating to me where the big smelly birds probably had been.
All I can figure is that they were drinking from this little spring creek branch that rarely runs above ground. Or perhaps they were playing in the water from the happy sounds they were making. It wouldn’t surprise me as they have big and bold personalities.