Sometimes I see unexpected things at Welkinweir, especially in the early morning hours. Turkey stampedes come to mind, as well as skunks. I rarely have the camera with me.
On a nice quiet morning this week, when the sun was just peeking around the trees and starting to take the chill out of the air and the sleepiness out of me, I was greeted by an amusing sight in our visitor parking area. I had never seen anything like it, though I'm sure it's not that uncommon of an occurrence. High in a dead tree, two turkey vultures were perched in a tree with their wings spread out to warm in the sun. I hurried back to the house, quite certain they wouldn't still be there when I returned.
The scene had indeed changed a little when I came back with the camera. The first turkey vulture was not interested in being photographed. The second turkey vulture had rotated and seemed to be putting itself on display. It tipped its head at me as I tried to get as close of a picture as possible, laughing the whole time at how ridiculous this particular pose looks for a large bird like that. Little did I know that the next morning, when I was lucky enough to have the camera at first sighting, I would see something much greater.
Did you know turkey vultures grow on trees?! I counted over 30.
And to my delight, when the sun came out a little more, many of them spread their wings just like the two turkey vultures the morning before. And then I looked over at our visitor kiosk, and laughed at what I saw.
Four turkey vultures, lined up, wings spread. And the best part was, they were slowly rotating their bodies from side to side, as if to soak up as much sun as possible. I couldn't get a very good angle without scaring them off, and I couldn't get very close because I was laughing too much. They didn't seem to appreciate it.
They is something strangely foreboding about a turkey vulture perched in a tree with outstretched wings. So, to balance out the creepy factor, I'm moving on to Christmas!
This Saturday, December 8th, from 10-2 is Welkinweir's holiday open house for the general public. The estate house is nicely decorated for Christmas. Come check it out and bring your friends! Here is a small preview of what you will find inside.
You can find directions to Welkinweir, and other information about the gardens, on our website. http://welkinweir.org/