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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

{Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) & Brave Furbabies}

We went to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and the weather was perfect after 5 days of heavy rain. So glad that we completed early this year all the Water Control Projects; what a blessing for never having to worry again! 
Christmas day was so LOVELY and SUNNY that we went for a walk!
Coming back we spotted about NINE Turkey Vultures, up in tall trees near the creek across from our property. So I investigated and found an entire RACK OF RIBS alongside the road across from our home. Did the neighbors drop it from their shopping bag? But it was naked...
So those huge Turkey Vultures were having a yummy Christmas Dinner!
So quickly Pieter grabbed our Nikon camera and attached the 200 mm lens to capture these images for you...
Size: Length: 64 - 81 cm according to the website's link above (just click it).
Or for US standard: 2 1/2 feet length with a 6 foot wingspan or 1.83 m!
Photos are heavily cropped and Pieter zoomed in from our driveway, without tripod...
How in the world could an entire rack of ribs end up alongside the road?
This Turkey Vulture LOVES it!
Our Furbaby, Spunky-girl is being brave...
All her hair upright and a very bushy tail! All her hair spiked up to look BIGGER!
 Looking at me like asking: Mom do I have your back?!
Sure you do Spunky-girl!
Okay Mom; I will attack!
She scared me, as I feared for her getting pecked at by those long and sharp beaks!
Her tiny sister, our 6-pound Tiggy-Tiger is all 'bushy-tailed' with hair spiked out and ready to join Spunky!
Look at Tiggy-Tigger as she too tries hard to look impressive with all her hair up; doubling her size...
That upright tail!
Good for not having ANY traffic on Christmas Day in the afternoon...
Our cat-boy Spooky joins in now!
He too walks across the street towards those Turkey Vultures...
Watch him act BRAVE! With his arched back...
Both of us never have seen Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) from that close!
They stayed high up in the trees near the creek's edge of our neighbor's property.
Waiting for their turn to dive...
Impossible to capture all nine of them by zooming in from across the road.
But this was quite a Christmas Adventure!
I've learned that our Furbabies understood far better than their human parents that these mighty birds ONLY attack carion and not live animals.
I thought they acted very BRAVE!
That was our unusual Christmas afternoon adventure with the Furbabies after we got home from a walk...
Next morning, the entire rack of ribs was gone!
We did not let our Furbabies eat from the greasy meat and luckily they stayed inside with us.

40 comments:

  1. I'm pleased they had a good Christmas lunch. Some body was missing there's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Kay,
      One really wonders WHO in the world would drop an entire rack of ribs off... or did it get lost?!
      Those Turkey Vultures had a lovely early supper...
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  2. Hello Mariette, What a unique adventure involving those turkey vultures. In Ohio, which is on their migration path, they are called buzzards, and are very popular, especially in the town of Hinkley, not far from Cleveland, where they return like clockwork every March 15th, thus inspiring a big Buzzard Festival. I am glad you got to enjoy this unusual sight.
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jim,
      That was quite a discovery when we got home from our long walk on a sunny Christmas day! Yes, I read about the fact that they are called buzzard in many areas in North America. But buzzards to us are quite different. I grew up with a taxidermy buzzard hanging in our hallway...
      One time I saw about four of them in the woods, next door and they had to lift themselves up between the trees. That's the closest I've ever come to them; no way for capturing them on camera. But this time we had ample time for getting the 200 mm lens on and zooming in on them. And so did our cat-girls investigate as well, we did take them away from the greasy meat. Next morning the meat was all gone; bone and all. One wonders!
      Funny the annual March 15th return and inspiring a big Buzzard Festival.
      In the Grand Canyon we admired the California Condor, the other related species.
      Enjoy the year's ending and wishing you a healthy and Happy New Year!
      Mariette

      Delete
  3. Dearest Mariette,
    I was laughing, when I saw your pictures and videos.
    You have so many to see arround your home ;O)
    Brave catgirl and boy ;O)
    Have a good start into the new week, only a short time, and a New Year will begin ...
    I now have to go out and clean the frontway from the snow, we got in the night ....
    Sending Love and hugs,
    Claudia xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Claudia,
      Indeed, we have a lot of unusual things to see around our home. Quite surprised to come back from a long walk and find vultures sitting high in the trees across from our property... We had the time for getting the camera, interchange the lens and capturing these ugly birds.
      Our two cat-girls were brave, with Spunky taking the lead and also cat-boy Spooky!
      Enjoy the cozy evenings at home and stay warm with all that snow. We have again dark and gray days... not cold but dreary looking. It is foggy right now...
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  4. Amazing! Good to know they don't attack. I wonder if they scavenged the ribs from someone's backyard barbecue. Someone might have come out looking for their rack of ribs. HA! Just like when the crows in Sri Lanka steal food from breakfast tables. It's pretty funny when folks don't know what's happened as they went to the buffet for something else and come back to find things missing.. :) Best wishes, Tammy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tammy,
      It will remain a riddle who grabbed those ribs off someone's barbecue... Maybe a dog? Who knows, not those vultures I think as they would be too light in weight for air-lifting such an entire rack of ribs; quite heavy! But I learned something and our cats probably knew it instinctively that they don't attack them.
      Hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  5. buon 2015 mia cara amica!!!!!! che sia ricco di gioia per te e la tua famiglia Lory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cara Lory,
      Grazie e anche per la tua famiglia e per te stesso vi auguri tutto bene per un buon 2015! Sei un'amica vera!
      Abbraccio forte,
      Mariette

      Delete
  6. Jeetje wat een groot aantal vogels, ze zien er echt vervaarlijk uit met die snavels en poten als aasgieren. Die poezen van jou zijn niet bang zeg, dat ze erop af gingen met die vreemde hoge staarten. Wanneer mijn poes een kraai ziet duikt ze al in elkaar en zit ze plat op de grond, beslist niet met een staart omhoog. Wat een belevenis zo voor de deur!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beste Marianne,
      Ja, het zijn de noord Amerikaanse 'neven/nichten' van de aasgieren. Imposant met hun enorme spanwijdte en ook met die hak-snavel en grote klauwen waarmee ze hun buit vasthouden. Toen onze poeze-meiden erop af gingen met de staart breed en hoog, had ik het niet meer. Ik dacht die gieren hakken jullie de ogen uit. Maar hun wisten kennelijk instinctief dat ze niks zouden doen. Wat een avontuur inderdaad en dat zomaar na een lange wandeling. Gelukkig was er géén verkeer op de weg vanwege Kerst! Oh, Pieter had ook in perzische kat in Limburg die zich door een merel naar binnen liet jagen; zó bang!
      Liefs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  7. Liebe Mariette,

    dein schöner Post erfreut mich.
    Sonnige Grüße
    Elisabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Na ja, Geier sind nicht SO schön aber es war spannend um sie mal so von ganz nah sehen zu können und unsere Katzenkinder trauten sich eben ganz nah, und jagten sie weg!
      Danke für die sonnige Grüsse, hier gibt es wieder Nässe.
      Liebe Grüsse,
      Mariette

      Delete
  8. your kitties were very brave. :) so cute! love the vultures, too. doing their clean-up duty. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Theresa,
      Our kitties did surprise us and we learned a lot through them!
      Yes, those vultures are very beneficial in nature.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  9. Dear MarietteI was laughing, when I saw your pictures and videos!
    Your ,Spunky was so brave!!I have seen the vultures in my bird watching bloggers,friends,and at Tex's too!
    Have a happy weekend!Hugs!
    Dimi...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Dimi,
      This was the very first time that we really could observe those vultures from up close and our Spunky, Tiggy-Tiger and Spooky did teach us some more about them. After all, the vultures are not that scary as they don't harm living critters.
      Lesson learned and that on Christmas Day!
      Enjoy your final days of 2014.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  10. Wow, nine turkey vultures! Obviously they all gathered to feast on the ribs!
    Your furbabies are really brave. But so cute they got those bushy tails :-) You all had very exciting Christmas! If Goro were there, I'm sure he'd attack them. And Niko would watch them from distance :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tamago,
      One wonders how in the world they can smell such meat from a distance. Hope they all got something and did not come in vain. It was quite a Christmas adventure for both of us and I never would have thought our furbabies would go after them the way they did! I was so afraid for them... not needed as turned out. Oh, from the six, half of them charged and the others were nowhere to be seen - hiding too! Our first Spooky always would attack and Barty would hide behind the azaleas. Animals come as diverse as human beings and not all are brave. Goro is funny too; he for sure is the Alpha cat!
      Sending you hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  11. Dear Mariette,

    Happy to hear your Christmas was good and you had fine weather. Those turkey vultures look huge and sort of scary! I did not realise them living in Georgia. It's funny indeed how a rack of ribs found it's way beside the road.

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog too! It must have been difficult for you too, having your parents in The Netherlands.

    Wishing you and Pieter a lovely New Years Eve!

    Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Madelief,
      We had a perfect Christmas with lovely, warm and sunny weather, hence our long walk.
      Now it is gray and wet again, even foggy at present.
      Oh, I always have found those vultures scary and now, from our furbabies we learned that we have nothing to fear as vultures leave living critters alone. Yes, these are the North American type vultures and we also have the Black Vultures, with somewhat less wing span, only 1.50 m.
      We do have our extended family here and such friends at times do even mean more than family! Always there for us and with family it mainly is a one-way thing.
      Pieter and I are very close and we have our furbabies and a big estate to enjoy.
      Wishing you also a special New Years Eve with the girls.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  12. Lieve Mariette ...!!!!!
    Hahaha Super held Spooky ...mooi filmpje ..
    Ik zou er bang van zijn van die grote vogels ..
    Een lieve groet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lieve Nieneke,
      Ja, het was me een avontuur! Nu ben ik er niet meer bang van (niet zozeer voor mezelf) omdat we veel van de poezen geleerd hebben. Ze vallen levende dieren dus níet aan. Mooi om te weten. Groot zijn ze met hun 1.80 m span wijdte!
      Liefs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  13. Cat courage is admirable. Not afraid of such large birds. I wish you a wonderful 2105 years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Giga,
      Indeed, our cats were not afraid of these giant birds and through them we learned. Wishing you also a very Happy New Year 2015. The sequence of your numbers I am afraid we never will see in our life time...
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  14. We had the same splendid time at Christmas, as well, dear Mariette, with a stuffed turkey for lunch, but no Turkey Vultures in the garden!!! ha ha!! Your Furbabies were very brave !!!
    Many hugs to you!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Marie-Anne,
      Glad you had a splendid time for Christmas and a delicious turkey for lunch!
      Still wonder if the neighbor's dog maybe got that rack stolen off the grill and that it ended up in their front garden... What an adventure! Yes, our Furbabies taught us a lesson of not having to fear vultures as long as we all are alive!
      Lots of hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  15. I had a great Christmas lunch but no turkey vultures around my house

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jo-Anne,
      Glad you had a great lunch and these Turkey Vultures only reside in North and South America I guess.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  16. Dearest Mariette, im glad the vultures got a good meal out of the ribs. Your little furbaby was very brave to approach them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Pallavi,
      Oh, what a surprise to watch something like that on Christmas Day!
      You too had quite a surprise to share with your readers.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  17. what a great story! Those look scary and definitely are big birds. Buon Anno.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Daniela,
      Oh, it was a scary and also very interesting experience; we learned so much!
      Anche tutti voi un Buon Anno!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  18. Dear Mariette,
    I loved this story - seeing your brave kitties guarding their property! You must have been so surprised and proud of their bravery! Oh, those are ugly birds, but good for the environment to clean up all the carrion. We have them here, too and thankfully we don't see them often, as that means, well, you know.....Funny about the rack of ribs just lying there - a mystery, but a little excitement for you both and your loyal furbabies. Great photos that Pieter took, too.
    xo Hugs
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Karen,
      Well, we were not too fond of them crossing the road towards our neighbor's property though. We've taught them to stay 'home' but this was such an inviting adventure! I only once saw Turkey Vultures in the woods, next door but in-between tall trees so I hardly got to see them when they did rise up. Now the view was so much better! Sure they are the last link in the environment for cleaning up carrion. A dog must have snatched the rack of ribs off somewhere... a vulture has not the power to do so! Thanks for visiting and commenting.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  19. Dearest Mariette,
    I wishing you and Pieter has lovely new years Christmas Barry sure you do spunky-girl I will attck!
    Turky vvitures in the garden photos has Pieter zoomed in the driveway without tripod,
    All ways you had comments on my blogs,It bever miss of my place Thank you very much another one too Dear Mariette San!
    Hugs to you and wising you and your lovel ones!
    Michiko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Michiko,
      Those were funny things to watch and to zoom into! Spunky girl attacking and later her brother Spooky. Glad I could catch that on my iPad, also the photos of our furbabies. Pieter could really take his time for zooming in on the vultures, we loved this opportunity!
      You are very welcome dear friend, I always will visit you as you know you are very special and dear to me!
      Wishing you a Happy New Year and many improvements for 2015!
      Hugs and admiration,
      Mariette

      Delete
  20. Dearest Mariette; Wow, An entire rack of ribs and Vultures... what a rare chance for you to observe!!! Your furbabies sure are brave and must have been a fun time to fill their curiosity♫♫♫  I loved to read your caption as well. But, wild vulture can be dangerous, could get angry being disturbed their cleaning duty; happy that they were safe for their mom :-)
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Miyako,
      Coming home from our long, sunny walk, this was quite a surprise and even an adventure! Don't know if vultures really would attack; maybe if they are desperate for food and very, very hungry. Our furbabies at least did not sense much danger by charging at them and chasing them off.
      Hugs to you across the ocean for the last time in 2014; you already live in 2015! Have a happy one!!!
      Mariette

      Delete

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Mariette...

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