A Wake: A Tale of Perspective
I’ve been living the country life now for almost two years and as a newbie I’ve had my fair share of gaffes and awkward moments. However, each experience has taught me something new and valuable. Case in point, I used to absolutely detest the turkey vultures that frequently circle above our property looking menacing with their outstretched wings. I found them to be extremely ugly and just grotesque. If a group of vultures are nearby on a sweltering hot day, and if the wind hits just right…well the smell of them is enough to turn your stomach. So, I would try to shoo them away anytime they landed on my property. They’re relentless though and would stubbornly return making them even more vile in my eyes.
One day, not so long ago, I noticed a whole cluster of them in a tree near my house. I shooed them away, repulsed by their presence. They wouldn’t leave of course and instead ping-ponged from the tree to a grassy area of land. They were adamant and were acting very territorial, so I got it in my mind that they were probably deciding to nest in my tree. Umm not on my watch! I immediately pulled out my phone and started a Google search, How to Get Rid of Vultures.
It’s truly amazing how a little knowledge can change your entire perspective. As I read through my Google finds, I realized how important vultures really are. I also read that they don’t generally nest in trees and instead find weird and obscure locations for nesting. Learning this, I decided to go investigate as to what exactly they were doing near my house. Well, they were doing exactly what vultures do. Hidden within the tall grass was a deceased deer and the vultures were there to clean up the mess. I realized right then that I was actually grateful for them. If left unattended, that deer would have been problematic and something that I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with.
This morning we woke up to a cluster of vultures on an area of our land with some also hovering above. We were immediately put on alert as we walked over to investigate. Apparently, a doe had given birth during the night or early morning and something had gone wrong with the fawn. It did not survive the birth. The doe was long gone, and I found that I was once again grateful for the vultures.
I no longer find them disgusting as I now understand their true value. We have several animals and a fair amount of wildlife on our little homestead. It’s not pleasant but sometimes death is part of our lives here. It’s amazing how a simple change of perspective can completely alter a person’s reality. I detested something because I didn’t know any better, seeing vultures from a limited vantage point. A little education and a shift in thinking has now allowed me to appreciate the important role that vultures play on our homestead. They perform a job that no one else wants. A morbid but interesting fact, a group of vultures is referred to as a wake.