The shadow blocked out the sun -- just for a moment. The type of shadow that causes rabbits and iguanas to freeze.
And then a swoop and a shape. As if Bruce Wayne's alter ego was about to alight in my back yard.
My first reaction was that it was one of the eagles I see occasionally -- out searching for a bit of breakfast. But I had never seen one flying at balcony level.
It pulled up, stalled, and alit in the neighbor's coconut palm.
When I pulled out my binoculars. I was surprised to be looking directly into the eye of a Turkey Vulture -- what we country folk in Powers would call a "buzzard." (If you click on the photograph, you can enlarge it to see the distinctive head -- the turkey portion of the name.)
Within a minute three others joined him in the same tree.
Now, I don't know how you were raised. But where I come from, buzzards are not considered to be a pleasant sign -- nor a subtle one.
I had to do a bit of research to discover the cultural impact of the Black Witch moth (son of the witch). I didn't need research to know why the vultures were around.
Or I thought not.
My first reaction was that there must be something dead on the beach -- and they were simply waiting for the coast to clear. But they perched there all morning. I looked for myself to be certain that some poor soul was not dragging himself across the sand in search of water. Nada.
Eliminating the obvious, I started wondering if the vultures could sense my recent spike in blood pressure. But they obviously had no interest in me as I stood on the balcony snapping photographs. They wouldn't even close up like good tourists for their group beach shot.
But I came to the conclusion that is what they were: tourists. They had come to enjoy the pleasures of a sunny day at the beach. And they did.
After sunning themselves for about three hours, they simply disappeared -- as quickly and quietly as they came.
Several business owners in town have told me the tourist trade has been dead the past few weeks.
I think I now have proof that they are correct.