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FROM READERS: Vultures, doves and yet another snowfall

Thursday, April 25, 2013 | 10:14 p.m. CDT

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

Noel's Ark is about all I could think of to call these photos. (There is a member of my household with the name of Noel which isn't all that different from the guy recorded in the Book of Genesis who built a big zoo and all manner of creatures came for a 40-day boat ride.)

I have said, and proved it by photos, that the animals were coming to our house in numbers ranging from one to four. Well, when I awoke Wednesday morning, what I had predicted after the last big snow earlier this month that the snow for the season was not over had come true. Everyone laughed at me just like they did when the ark was being built. But to those who laughed, these photos prove that the old weather forecaster should not be made fun of. These photos were take between 6:15 and 6:36 a.m.

Around 7:00 a. m. my wife spied what she thought was an owl. So, I grabbed the camera with the small lens on it and headed out the door. The big bird wasn't interested in moving from the top of that electrical pole since he was guarding some prey pressed flat on Chapel Hill Road. By the distinguishing coat on the fresh road kill it had to be Peter Rabbit. As I took a few more photos a passerby stopped to ask me what I was doing. I told him I was capturing a photo of a Turkey Vulture.

The passerby said that bird had a name. Of course, I fell for the bait and he told me the name of it. I'd share the name but some of you would get upset if you are from the "politically incorrect" persuasion. So, from now on when I see that big bird I'll have a monicker for it.

Going right ahead, while you're all dying to know the name of that bird, I turned my direction to some noise on a street light. There were the two creatures "Noel" had sent off the ark to look for dry ground. There before my 400mm lens hooked to a Nikon D-300 were 600mm's of Collared Eurasian Doves.

They looked things over after their 40 days on the ark and the mom flew away. Pop Dove stretched his neck and looked skyward.

I asked him what he was doing. He said he was looking at that guy above his head.

Of course, the creature in the earlier photo was the same bird Pop Dove was watching in this one. The amazing thing was he called that Turkey Vulture by the same name that my neighbor had done a couple of hours earlier. That dove had to know that vulture's name before hand or has good ears and an equally good memory to have called that vulture by its human name. Nope, I'm not revealing the name. You can name it on your own if you are so inclined.

That is my futile attempt at trying to keep a good attitude. Within the next few minutes I will learn the damage done to my big riding lawn mower after its four day stay in the hospital. The damage done to that mower will pale in comparison to what it will do to the contents of my billfold. When I get the final bill I'll probably use the human name of that turkey vulture, in disgust. Nope, I'm still not revealing the name of that vulture.

If you can't see the slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here. To view the captions of these photos, view the slideshow in full screen and click on "show info’ in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor Joy Mayer.


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