Celebrating: Dinosoarlings in the tree

Not these birds, and not this tree. But since I like to use my own photos, this is what you get.

Ahh basketball! It’s not a game I played in my youth. My son plays it now and hence so do I. 

After an achy breaky bout of basketball with Zane — where I learn more than he’s learning — I slid into the tub. It’s a deep soaker basin with a window to the outdoors.

There’s a majestic pine in full view, standing perhaps 45 or more feet tall. Two turkey buzzards glided in to a perch on one of the larger branches. It’s a windswept day with gusts knocking the limbs about. Yet these two carrion feeders seemed at home in the ebbs and flows of the wind currents.

They exhibited what I perceived as tenderness, leaning in toward one another, almost beak to beak. I didn’t witness any outright nitpicking or delousing behavior, which is what I thought was about to happen.

As I watched, the evolutionary creativity at hand struck me. These dinosoarlings have adapted through hundreds of millions of years to come to my tree. As have we, as have I, to be here in a deep soaking tub to witness these two large birds at ease on their windy perch. 

What once were dinosaurs — which is the best theory in our current era given the available archaeological evidence — survived the dinosaur extinction. Over the tens of millions of years since they’ve slimmed down further, their feathers evolving into a great evolutionary advantage. 

Nothing flies far distances at first flight. Not the Wright Brothers, not the early dinosoarlings. It was more an extended hop, with their feathers lending assistance.

Their bodies morphed through tens of thousands of generations — forelimbs became wings — till those leaps became glides became true flight. Their bones hollowed out to allow more efficient aerodynamics (less weight to loft in the air). 

Sixty-five million years later two turkey buzzards flew into my tree, perfectly matched for human civilization now. In Florida where I live — and most regions around the world — road kill is recycled most often by carcass feeders like these, then later by ants and other insects. Worms eventually.

Creativity exists at all levels, over deep ecological time, and over the time it takes you to work on a project. What are we ever doing but mimicking nature? Adapting to what is before us bit by bit by bit. 

For you 

Evan Griffith
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