Turkey Vulture in Dark Sky | Mark Lindsay

I feel his shadow before I actually see it. Like a light summer cloud that blocks the sun for just a moment, our shadows converge into one. Turkey vulture and I look at one another. I could swear he knows that I have a camera—He circles me for a pose. I click furiously, suddenly being blinded by the sun as his graceful wingspan moves aside and reveals the furious, burning ball of light. Then he moves back in position again to shade me. And the sun disappears behind him.

He looks down and says nothing. But, I know that we connect. I can see his curious face in my telephoto lens, his eyes intently watching mine. Around me he soars, his shadow playing with me. Tickling me. Click, click, click. The more I photograph him the more he circles. Then, in a flash, something more compelling attracts him. I figure he's bored. Or maybe there's some irresistible, vulture food over yonder. Whatever his motivations he flaps his wings with a long, slow "woosh" and he disappears into the direction from which he came.

Like the bird, I move onward, but the rest of my photos are not nearly as good, nor as much fun. It is hard to top a moment and a turkey vulture.