Condors of Peru: Ephemeral

DP Weekly Photo Challenge

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Look up at your ceiling. It’s probably 8 feet high. Imagine another two feet. That’s a 10-foot-high ceiling. Now spread your arms out to your side. Imagine you are a bird, and your arms are wings. Imagine you are a Peruvian Condor. You are one big-ass bird, with the largest wingspan in the world. Your wingspan is longer than your imagined 10-foot-high ceiling. And you are hungry when you wake up in the morning. But whoever designed life here on this planet may have been a little miffed at you when you were created because

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you wake up hungry, but you can’t fly until the sun warms the ground and creates thermals that allow you to take off and fly. You’re so large, you can’t just flap your wings and fly into the sky. You need a crosswind and heat. And you’re one ugly creature. Mostly black feathers. If you’re a male, a white ruffle at your neck. And a featherless, bald head. That is because you eat carrion, you are a vulture. You stink like dead animal most of the time. You soar on the thermals, barely moving your wings, until you spot a dead llama or an alpaca, and then you dive down to it, and stick your head inside its dead body. That’s five-star fine dining for you. You’ll never taste a Starbucks double espresso. You’ll never eat Godiva dark chocolate. You’ll never inhale the aroma of fresh-baked bread just out of the oven. Karma, dude.

Condor1 4662 E1SMIn Peru, though, you live in a very lovely valley, the Canyon del Colca, the second-deepest canyon on Earth, and only short by something like 150 meters, and it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. And because you, my friend, are the country’s third most-popular tourist attraction, over 100,000 people a year take long, arduous, and dusty bus rides and show up in your canyon just to see you soar. After you wait for the sun to heat things up in your hood, one thing you do get to do is show off for the tourists. And when you feel like being a bit of a rascal, you soar above the crowd and poop on one or two just because you can. And poop from a condor is not just a little white mess you wipe off with a single tissue. You are a good thirty pounds of ugly stinking bird, bigger than many dogs. You poop, people notice. But no worries, nobody’s going to shoot you, you’re on the endangered list. You can do what you please with impunity. For as long as you’re here.

Check out other sites and Challenge theme details here:   Ephemeral

64 comments

    • Thanks much. The photos don’t really do that bird justice. They were just awesome, thrilling really. If they weren’t vultures, we could call them regal.

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  1. Wow! Thank you for bringing me to a place I know I’ll never get to on my own power!! And to see the most magnificent being, stinky as he may be. Extraordinary information about not being able to fly until the conditions are just right. Do the male and female cohabitate? Wonder what the eggs look like?

    GREAT pics!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it was a pretty cool place. Awesome animal! Don’t know if they exactly cohabitate, or for how long, but it takes a couple years to raise a baby, and they both share in that process.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Years, yes…well, it is a big bird, and can’t just flap and fly, like smaller birds (maybe?). I’ve always loved seeing eagles and hawks soar. But the condors were just so much more…bigger. Bigger is better in some things perhaps?

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don, Fist pumps, and high fives! That is precisely enough likes for my ego. I must be a power blogger now! But one who doesn’t know how to use his Reader, or that List next to it. But I’m wondering what you liked most about this piece: the canyon info, the bird info, or the pooping on tourists info??

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now THAT, my dear buddy, is a VERY good question. For the first couple months, I did not know how to have comments await my approval, and didn’t see any reason for it. But then read somewhere that that is what “everybody” does. Then I discovered how. So I clicked it. BUT now…some people must await me, and then others…do not. What is up with that? Cyber-space rhetorical question.

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    • Madhu, thanks, but I didn’t have a very good camera, and it’s hard to focus on a moving object. And yeah…some things are worth the risk! It’s an interesting thing that humans do–we love to see things like this, and still do things that ruin wild life everywhere on the planet.

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  2. Must have been an amazing experience to actually see them !!!!!!!! Condors have so many stories and myths surrounded around them 😀 Nice info which while reading I laughed till it ached 😀

    btw it’s ady previously from roundworldnme, I will be posting from this new site hereafter,roundworldnme I will keep as storage. Would be happy to regain our our friendship 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they are beautiful, huge creatures. I’m glad you liked the stories (and actually laughed…sometimes, I’m not sure my humor is available to readers). I love your new site!

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  3. Mister Fish, i love your Fish logo by the way, and i really enjoyed this piece – fun, enticing, great pictures and a story that draws in – very well done… clearly you have the gift.

    keep on
    love brett fish

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the fun. The logo was a collaboration by my nephew and Fim at Quantum Hermit (check out her site for cool stuff).

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  5. So were you in Peru to get those shots? How cool is that! (Unless you are from Peruian, and it’s no big deal, but still cool to me. ) Those are superb pics, but I must say I also like your description of the birds too. You have an easy, conversational tone, and you’re kinda funny. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Othermary (love it),
      Yes, it’s sad, but I had to travel to Peru just to get some photographs. A hard life…but somebody has to do it!! But you are right…it was cool! Very cool. Even if you live there, those giant birds are cool. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting, and I’m happy you like my writing. Sometimes, I wonder if people get my humor, and you did (kinda)!

      Liked by 1 person

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