A couple of days ago the weather oracles predicted rain would begin about eleven a.m. and continue throughout the afternoon, evening, and most of the night. The day certainly began cloudy, with skies to the west growing darker and more ominous and the morning progressed. The air felt heavy and damp. I thought it would commence raining right on schedule.
So, apparently, did the riverbank's resident turkey vultures.
In case you've never lived in close proximity to a band of ragtag buzzards, you should know they're creatures of habit. They sleep late, are slow to get up and going in the morning, and like to squabble a bit among themselves and perhaps take in some early sun before flapping off to spend their day sailing around on rising thermals, scrutinizing the land below for a tasty morsel of roadkill or otherwise deceased flesh. Moreover, they seldom stay out late—generally returning to their roost area by late-afternoon.
Decided homebodies, cautious, a little lazy. And always heedful of changing weather.
For a turkey vulture, the roost area is both home and refuge. A pending storm—morning or afternoon—sends them scurrying back to their familiar shelter—which in this case is the riparian woods, and its mostly huge, towering sycamores, densely covering the island across from the cottage.
As I said, it was supposed to rain. It looked like rain, and felt like it was about to rain. I sure thought it was going to rain…as did the buzzards, who hadn't been off on their breakfasting carrion hunt more than a couple of hours before they came sailing back, obviously dodging the expected storm.
Except the rains never materialized. Not a drop. Though for the next couple of hours we all hunkered in our respective havens—the vultures amid their sheltering sycamores, yours truly within the cozy confines of the cottage—waiting and watching with bated breath, until the sky eventually began to lighten.
I hate to admit that when it comes to weather, I'm no smarter than a buzzard.