No Idea What The Vulture Is Doing There

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That is not a chicken.  It is a vulture.

That is not a chicken. It is a vulture.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Driving home the other night, my son shouted,”Cats!” and asked me to turn down the street next to ours.  The above picture is what I saw.

We have lots of vultures in our neighborhood because we live in the woods and inevitably there is a lot of life and death going on.

But every once in a while I see a really strange scene that makes me pause and take photos.  Once it was hundreds of vultures sitting in the trees at the end of our driveway – and nowhere else.  This time it was domestic cats waiting for The Cat Lady to come by and feed them, with a vulture just hanging with them, something I haven’t seen in the almost decade we’ve lived here.

You’ve noticed such strange incidents in your own life?  The ones that make you take wonder if maybe there is a message in there for you, or send you to look up animal totems, wondering what the sighting of some strange animal that “doesn’t belong” may mean.

The vulture made me a little nervous, I’ll admit.  Then the next day, driving up our road, this is all I saw:


It’s a brown bunny.  The most calming and innocent of wild creatures that we see around here, usually only in the spring, and usually only one sighting a year.  But the bunnies must be reproducing because this year we’ve seen several.

One of the funniest things that ever happened here was the Sunday afternoon when the medium sized dog ran into the house, trailed by the small dog.  He ran up to my husband and made the funniest sound, like mrfrfuff, which turned out to mean,”I have a bunny in my mouth and I am trying to save it from Sophie who wants to eat it!”

The entire family went outside, beyond the dog gate, and let the baby bunny free, setting him down in the tall grass.  He was a chocolate brown bunny, and blended in exactly with the color of the rescuing dog, and we had had so much rain that the grass was very high so once again he was camouflaged.  But all of a sudden we saw a small movement, and there went bunny, hopping cautiously away.  It was like a scene from a movie, super cute, seeing this little cottontail hopping away into the deep, dark woods.

Where apparently, he proliferated.

The Value of A Good Story

I love a good story and most of my close friends are writers and storytellers.  One of the greatest regrets I have about being apart from my husband is missing his stories.  He doesn’t tell them as much as he lives them.

Interesting and funny things just happen to him all day long.  In many respects he’s like a walking party, at least to those who love a good story.  All he has to do is start his work day, and it’s almost as if a circus follows him around the planet.

Just like I love a little interruption where dogs attempt to rescue bunnies and vultures meander amongst the cats, one of my all time favorite things to do is listen to my husband’s end of phone conversations or get a call from him in the middle of the day because he just had to tell me the latest funny or unbelievable thing that happened.

I have really missed that while he’s been gone.  It’ll be a year in June since he left, and this June he is coming to pick up the kids for the whole summer and take them here:


It kind of kills me that I can’t go with them, because of the day job.  I’d love to say that so much abundance has fallen on our heads that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, and we have a whole list of excellent things to do.  Alas, the day job calls so I guess I’d better have a good plan to entertain myself this summer!  The dogs and I shall have plenty of opportunities for long walks, the gym will get me back, and who knows what’s possible?

Your Dream Is Possible

“I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles, and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames. Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.”

A long time ago when I was young I was given a gift of a box of VHS tapes of the motivational speaker Les Brown.  He and he alone got me through a very rough period where I was packing boxes to end one part of my life and start another.

When I listen to him now, decades later, I can see the thread of what inspired me then and what inspires me now.  He actually taught a lot about spirituality, just in a different package than you might expect these days.

I no longer am interested in things like houses and cars and lots of stuff, in particular, having had them, enjoyed them, and lost them or being buried in them.  It really does not matter, because it turns out that those kinds of things are not what is important to me, per se.  I just enjoy the experiences, the unexpected, the stories.  I enjoy the days like to today, when a particular warm breeze is in the air, blowing my hair around, and I can sit on my porch and type in peace while the trees sing songs in the background.

I remember listening to Les talk about how we favor the devil we know, and no matter how unhappy we are, we can stay put right there, just from fear of what might happen if we decided to make a start toward what we really want.  He described it as walking around with a refrigerator on your back.

The refrigerator is your history, doubt and fears.  It’s what you know.  No matter how much you may hate it, it’s comfortable and familiar.

We just don’t stop and acknowledge what a heavy weight it is.

Sometimes we can’t even see that all we have to do to become free is to drop the refrigerator.

Can you imagine walking around with a Sub Zero on your back, lashed to your body with rope, your entire life?  How much better would you feel – how much lighter – if you just dropped it and stood up straight?

Ages and Stages, Things Change

“You don’t get what you want in life.  You get who you are!”

Eventually, eventually, eventually…you do get who you are.  Quite literally.  Some may get it sooner than others – it’s on an individual, planned time schedule – but sooner or later you start to wake up to what matters and what really doesn’t.

You start to get a peek in to who you REALLY are, what you came here to do, what you want to experience, the simple uniqueness of you.

The vision of who you are may shimmer like the ocean’s water or stick in your shoe like a rock.  There is an element of how much do you want it?  It can appear as a big vision, without any details yet, or you may be able to describe exactly and precisely what it is but know you have some hurdles to jump before it can be made manifest.  Some of you may be like the bull in the chute or the racehorse walking toward the starting gate at a slow walk.

Right now I am just feeling the perfect breeze, enjoying the day, wondering how it all may appear some fine day.

All quotes credit Les Brown

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  1. Wow! Your blog really spoke to me today! I am pretty sure I’ve dropped the refrigerator, panicked and picked it back up a few times. I’m looking forward to leaving it behind forever. And to digging into ME.

  2. Oh no, you’ll have the whole summer to yourself? I guess we’ll just have to talk on the phone more. 🙂
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  3. catriona says:

    Go Julie! I love the vultures, the cats – the dogs!!! – the bunny… but most of all I love you 🙂 Thank you!!! Xxxxxxx

  4. Hi Julie.
    Your vulture story caught my eye because several of my friends have lost their pets to vultures within the past month. Now, I live in Texas, in the city, so no worries for me, but my friends who live in the burbs or further out… in the country, have had problems. One of my friends in Chicago burbs said that she had to intervene on a horrendous scene with her kitty. A vulture was about to whisk her cat away, had her by the neck! It was a traumatic event for my friend. My other friend’s chihuahua was lifted by owls a few weeks ago. Needless to say, she was devastated because she never let her doggie out and the one time she did, he was scooped up! She said when she spoke to the authorities, they mentioned that they came across an owl nest with at least 1/2 dozen small dog collars in it. . I don’t want to alarm anyone, just relating what my friends have experienced. I don’t know if folks are encroaching on the wild’s food chain or if something else is going on but it seems very eerie, to say the least. Take care of your fur babies, y’all.

    • We have an abundance of owls, hawks etc here as well and it always amazed me that even though my cat sits on the roof, not only have none of them picked her off but she will sit side by side with a hawk, no problems. Makes me wonder if all of my wild animals are simply wild animals, or if there might be something more to all of this symbiosis.

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