It's not an easy hike, although it seems so at first, where a wide road leads down, down, down to the shore at Menzies Bay. There, the trail turns and clambers up a narrow rock staircase of sorts, steep, uneven, twisty and sometimes wobbly underfoot. After a couple of bridges and more hills, we come to a viewpoint; a wide, flattish rock at the top of a cliff, carpeted with moss, dotted with flowers. We went on. The trail drops and rises, drops again. I was starting to stumble.
By the time I had given up and returned to the viewpoint, I was out of breath and a bit dizzy. (I'm not as young as I used to be, but then, who is?) I lay flat on the moss, recovering, and watched the clouds.
|The view from moss level.|
|Cottony clouds and the treetops.|
Later, I sat on a rocky outcrop, snacking on nuts and apricots, watching flowers blow in the wind. And then a bird, a big bird, appeared between two trees, soared away off down the bay, came back with a couple of friends. They spiralled across the water, almost at my feet for a long while.
At first, I thought they were young eagles. But the wings weren't right.
|Turkey vulture. The head is small, because it lacks feathers. When the light was right, I could see that it was red. And the wings are turkey vulture wings.|
The wing itself is dark, but the flight feathers are pale. Against the bright sky, the light shines through them.
|The red head is visible here. The bill is white, and hooked.|
Later, while we had lunch on the rock, the birds joined the flock at the mouth of the bay. Too far away for photos, but I took a few anyhow; couldn't resist. And when I examined those photos at home, I discovered the imposters.
|6 vultures here. But if you look closely (Click for a full-size photo), you'll discover three double-winged fliers joining the flock. Dragonflies!|
Distances are deceptive; the dragonflies were probably just at the edge of our cliff.
(The trail hasn't beaten me; I'll tackle it another day, more slowly. There's no reason I have to go end to end without stopping to rest, is there?)
Another Skywatch post.