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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Knock knock knocking on heaven’s door

A sign of spring here in the Chihuahuan desert is buzzards (aka turkey vultures - Cathartes aura) floating in huge wakes (yup that's the collective noun for vultures) on lazy thermals in the impossible blue above. Their quiet makes for an eerie stillness. Buzzards are apparently vocally limited to a grunt or hiss, hence no spring birdsong from them.

One has to look up to know they are way up there, knocking on heaven's door in a manner of speaking.

...Mama take this badge off of me...

It isn't delusion: that sense of a presence, of someone watching. It is circling buzzards. For real.

The female ladderback woodpecker (Dryobates scalaris), however, brings me back to the garden. She announces her presence outback with a loud signature knock knock knocking.

For woodpeckers, heaven's door, it seems, is the old, cottonwood prunings which were recycled several years ago into a structure to support hyacinth beans outback.

Meanwhile it's a race to open first between the blue of Iris hollandica (Dutch Iris) and deep purple of Iris germanica.

The holding pattern with the broken wing continues. The good news is that an online order of vegan Cissus quadrangularis tablets to support bone healing has arrived.

After sitting in the garden yesterday under that wake of buzzards, knowing they can detect dead meat from eight miles high, I decided I had to address the cheese smell coming from the splinted ace bandaging.

...Mama take this badge off of me...

The very swollen hand turning blackish (from bruising?) was also disturbing me.

I unwrapped the arm and gave it a warm Epsom salts then ice water bucket bath.

In the unwrapping, I discovered strange wrinkled dead looking white patches forming on my skin, especially where it was pressed against the spongy material of the splint where it looked like little colonies of something? mould? were growing. These seem to be the cause of the cheese smell.

I wiped the arm down with rubbing alcohol. Not wanting to redeploy the smelly, cheesy splint, I am now using a proprietary splinted Velcro closure wrist brace which I had from a prior wrist injury. It's not as firm as those tight Ace bandages and the ER splint, but I'm getting good at immobilizing that area of my body. One Arm Bandit: Intermediate Skill Level

Both the puffy hand and the strange skin patches, though not gone gone, seem a little less worrying this morning. I'm counting the days until the bone doctor appointment on Tuesday.

...Mama take this badge off of me...

Dang! That soundtrack has no off switch.

Nearing fifty years ago now, I walked with a babe in arms, on the boulders at Domboshava in a country today called Zimbabwe, where bodies were laid out for vultures. Excarnation.

In another time. In another place.

Thirty years ago I walked in Mumbai beneath the Towers of Silence, where the Zoroastrians still, today, lay out bodies of their dead for excarnation.

The Towers of Silence: where vultures circle.

In Egypt, once, I met a vulture goddess, Nekhbet. From another time. Another place.

In the Chihuahuan desert I wait for Iris to bloom. Today.


Under circling buzzards.

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