While visiting Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, I headed to the end of the road, and walked towards the red barn of the Allee House. I was really hoping to find hummingbirds in the back, but instead found a pair of black beady eyes watching me.
This juvenile Black vulture sat inquisitively in the abandoned window calmly watching me. Speaking quietly to her, we shared a few moments together, while the rest of the world seemed to fade away.
Vulture by Robinson Jeffers
I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling
high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-
Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, “My dear bird, we are wasting time
These old bones will still work; they are not for you.” But how
he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak
become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–
What a sublime end of one’s body, what and enskyment; what a life