The Naked Signs of Spring
From Vultures to Violets here in the American South
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Although it lives off the remains of the dead, the Turkey Vulture carries north the resurrection of spring. So from my outpost here in the American South, I bring you vernal news of vultures and violets, maples and metalmarks.
Forget those myths about robins and crocuses as harbingers of spring. American Robins spend winter where the snow falls, and crocuses aren’t native to North America anyway. Instead, for those of you in northern states and Canada, spring glides in on angled wings and a naked, ruddy head. Read all about spring Turkey Vultures in my earlier post titled Migration Misfits or listen to a vulture tribute I wrote for the radio/podcast series BirdNote.
Meanwhile, in the image gallery below you can envision a bit of what else is coming north based on what’s happening in the South, where I am now playing and working. But first, pictured here is the Rio Grande cutting through Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, in south Texas, where Ruth and I hiked for a week and where Mexico is a close neighbor in nature.
I’m now heading downriver, toward Brownsville, toward the border wall, toward human and political tragedy. I’ll report back next month here on the blog — and during a fundraising supper on March 21 at North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, Vermont. Over dinner and a slide show at the event, I’ll discuss wild nature and human nature along the borderlands. It’s all for a good cause: to help send a group of Vermont teen birders to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in April. I hope to see you there.
Now, on to springtime images from across the South. Click any of them for a bigger view or to start your slideshow.