Today was supposed to be a rest day but after looking at the weather forecast for the next week which calls for Noah’s Ark kind of rain we decided to bike today and rest tomorrow.

The most noteworthy part of the day were the number of vultures devouring carrion along the route. We’ve seen these birds throughout Texas up close as there has been a fair amount of roadkill on our route and, because I’ve had a fear of vultures since I was a child, I’ve just been telling myself they are actually hawks or eagles, birds to which I don’t have an aversion. Today though, they were undeniably vultures and I decided I just needed to learn to love vultures.

I reminded myself that vultures do play an important role in our ecosystem, getting rid of carrion that would otherwise spread diseases to other animals and humans. In that way, they are akin to the Tasmanian Devil which used to fill the same role in Tasmania but struggles to now as its population has been decimated by a neuroendocrine cancer. When we biked across Tasmania In January, the negative consequences of the devil’s demise were plainly apparent.

This is a long way of saying that everything, including the vulture, has a place in the universe and plays an important role in maintaining ecological balance. Today I am grateful for the role vultures plays in controlling the spread of disease and so I am learning to love vultures! ❤️

– Isabella