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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Fifty Eight: Man and nature -- expressing our relationship with the environment > Turkey vultures, Jackson, California, 2008
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Turkey vultures, Jackson, California, 2008
19-MAY-2008

Turkey vultures, Jackson, California, 2008

The cross atop the chapel at Jackson’s Catholic cemetery provides an incongruous yet obviously useful perch for these turkey vultures. The faith of man and these creatures of nature join here in a natural alliance. I photographed these vultures for over 15 minutes, and finally was able to freeze one of them in backlighted flight.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/800s f/9.0 at 73.8mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Phil Douglis27-May-2008 18:23
Thanks, Tim. You are right. This image would be equally at home in my symbolism gallery. The five feathers at the end of the wing do suggest a gesture of farewell as the vulture leaves the cross to no doubt forage for recyclable material. It is, as you note, all about the circular nature of life and death. It was worth spending fifteen minutes of our trip shooting these big birds on the cross, wasn't it? I look forward to seeing your favorite image of them.
Tim May27-May-2008 17:12
I love this image. Especially the "gesture" of the feathers at the end of the wing. The symbolism just yells at me in this one. The flight of prayers - the use in the ecological circle of life of the buzzard as a "recycler" of "earthly remains."
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