Mother Nature’s clean-up crew

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

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“Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.” ~ Anna Quindlen


Some lead-foot driver left behind roadkill yesterday while I was weed-eating summer-rain jungle, safety glasses fogging up from humidity. One moment, the street’s clear. The next, there’s a flattened groundhog–no getaway vehicle in sight. 

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Saddened, I muttered about speeders who won’t slow down for anything, figuring I’d be hauling a shovel for messy clean-up duty if no one from public works stopped. In no time flat, the local buzzards arrived for lunch-on-the-job. 


We eyed each other like it was High Noon or OK Corral—but I bowed, help yourselves, guys. Have at it! So they did, working diligently, flapping up to the school’s roof whenever cars breezed by. Back they’d come, once the coast was clear. 


If you use your imagination, you’d see how akin to wild turkeys they are, minus iridescent feathers. Some folks think they’re ugly critters, but the more I watched the buzzard team up close, the more I admired their focused dedication, their dull-gray feathers, their magnificent wing-spread and lift—how graceful they are floating in circles overhead. 


Then I thought how much we need them in this world—Mother Nature’s clean-up crew. Not much was left of their feast this morning, just a dark spot in the street. Nothing wasted; no shovel needed. Thanks, guys. 


Saluda Tailgate Market is every Friday at the west city parking lot location off Main Street, 4:30-6 p.m. 


Saluda Train Tales at the Historic Depot & Museum is July 15, 7 p.m. with Brian Sykes, a retiree from Norfolk Southern Railroad. Brian worked in electrics and signaling with responsibilities including the Saluda Grade. He’ll discuss challenges and procedures, including the safety runoff tracks, for running trains up and down the grade.


Free ice cream in hot July? Saluda Senior Center (64 Greenville Street) is having an ice cream social July 17 from 2-4 p.m. All welcome! 



Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) keeps busy with land conservation, trails, projects and more: visit or call 828-749-1560 for information. Support SCLT with donations, volunteering, and Amazon Smile. Contact “Trail Boss” Chuck Hearon at about leading a hike, or helping clear trails. The next Walk in the Woods is July 17 at Twin Lakes, this is an open swim from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with a walk in the woods option. Bring a picnic; leave Rover at home for this event.


Saluda Pop-Up Pantry is Tuesday from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. at Saluda Presbyterian Church, 54 Carolina Avenue (behind Saluda Library). Donations of paper goods are always welcome and needed. To volunteer at the Pantry, call Saluda Church of the Transfiguration at 828-749-9740.  You can mail tax-deductible donations to Saluda Pop-Up Pantry, P.O. Box 428, Saluda, NC 28773 or donate online at www.saludapantrycom; or through Amazon Smile. Big thank-yous go to Saluda Garden Club for fresh-picked flower bouquets and to volunteers, especially volunteer-o’-the-month Diane Land! 


There’ll be a Saluda Open Stage event at McCreery Park on July 24. From 6-8 p.m., folks can bring their songs, jokes, magic acts, poems, skits, and other talents for others to enjoy. Just about anything goes;  it’s free to the first 23K that show up! Sign up at the event; call Dori at 808-8334 if you have questions. 


Saluda Visitor Center at 20 W. Main is open 11-4:30 daily this summer, and for monthly First Friday Strolls from 5-8 p.m. 


Give a listen to Saluda resident James Hrynyshyn’s “Polk Lore” podcast if you’d enjoy an independent forum for respectful discussion about living, working, and playing in Polk County. Polk Lore, a non-profit, advertising-free, hyperlocal podcast focuses exclusively on the culture, politics, and geography of this area. 


Happy July Birthday to Debi Thomas, Rheta Foster, Nancy Weinhagen, Lisa Obermiller, Kathy Thompson, Bill Jameson, Emily Rose Ford, Jeremy Ford, Mike Cass,  Nathen Honeycutt, Melissa Justus, Hunter Justus, Alyssa Justus, Lin Savage, Doug Taylor, Amanda Anderson, Gail Slaughter, Diane Ballard, Amber Grant, and Marianne Blazar. 


Feel free to contact me at, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit