The meteorological bombogenesis dubbed Juno is pummeling CT. My friends and family hurried to the store yesterday to stock up on
junk food essentials. Today they’re slipping, sliding, and stumbling around with shovels, blowers, and plows, clad in long underwear and building snow forts.
Juno turned out not be quite the historic storm forecasted. Remember 1978?
Like the frozen turkey vulture that fell out of South Dakota sky after its wings iced over as it flew through the severe blizzard. Did you know that vultures routinely soar high in the air, some, like the Rueppell’s Griffon Vulture, as high as 37,000 feet?
There are plenty of vultures in my neighborhood, far from the madding Juno. They’re the ultimate recyclers, tucking into the rotting sinews and viscera of dead animals.
We think of the comedic stereotypical vultures as desert-circling-last-moment-before-death birds, ugly and stupid. Sure, these birds urinate on themselves and vomit on predators but what is gross to us is highly effective for vultures. These bald, ugly birds with a gruesome taste for gore do an essential but thankless job.
Meet my neighbor Juno, namesake of the comercially-branded storm on the Weather Channel ~ and the Juno of mythology, the goddess who was jealous of Jupiter for giving birth to Minerva from his own head. (What a man, that Jupiter. Hmm, another of Mother Nature’s surprises?)
Just another island afternoon on the carrion clean-up crew. You go, Juno.
BIRDNOTE: In CT, I saw a leucisitic hawk. Guess what? Somewhere out there is a leucistic vulture. Have you seen one?