I am back from 12 days in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area.

We drive on the snarl of highways, which have proliferated since I was in high school in Alexandria. I see a street light on an overpass with a row of birds. Big....

....I am used to Washington state. I may see a red-tailed hawk on a street light by the highway. Or a row of seagulls. Or a row of pigeons...

....but these are big and dark. Bigger than hawks.

"What are they?"

"Vultures." says my son. "They are all over."

And they are. Rows of vultures waiting on the overpass streetlight. A lone vulture by the highway, waiting for a break in the cars to grab a dead thing from the on ramp. A circle of vultures around a dead deer.

I am back home. Driving home from work, on my "busy" street, there is a mother deer with two small spotted slightly unsteady fawns. Everyone stops to let them finish crossing. Everyone, I say, but it's only two cars.

Washington, DC is encircled by highways and vultures.

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