So we came home, and this guy was perched on top of the porch roof, directly outside our bathroom window.

This is my roof now.

For those at home, this handsome fellow is a black vulture, a species endemic to the southern United States. They are gorgeous birds, and very common around here. (Thank god. Something’s got to clean up all those roadkilled deer.)

It is not, however, something you expect to find on the porch.

After a few minutes, while we stood and stared and went “Holy crap! There’s a black vulture on our roof!” he hopped over to the garage roof and walked up to the rooftree, where he is now sitting and preening. As I am in the studio typing this, we are separated by a lighting fixture and a couple of inches of insulation, drywall, and shingles. (Got the photo out the attic window.)

We’re fine as long as he’d just passing through. If we come out later and there are six of ’em on the roof—black vultures live in small family flocks—we may have a problem. If we had ten or twenty acres, I would welcome them, but if they decide to take up residence in the yard, the clashes between vulture and beagle could prove detrimental to…well…everybody. (Dog charges, baying hysterically. Vulture freaks out and vomits on dog. Dog has to go to the vet for acid burns and dry cleaning. As dog Does Not Learn From Experiences, being a beagle, we would rinse and repeat until he either resembled the Phantom of the Opera or the vultures decided to leave, and I am given to understand that vultures hardly ever decide to leave.)

It’s still pretty damn awesome, though.