Vulture Culture introduction! (:
I’m Heather. I’m 23 years young, living in Appalachia. I spend my time in the forest, learning about every aspect of nature, from the trees, down to the moss. I adventure often, and love sharing the remote places I get to experience with you all. I love all creatures and animals, all the way down to their bones! (:
My fascination for bones started at a very early age! When I was 6, I found a full rabbit skeleton, and words cannot describe how absolutely amazed I was! I instantly found a little pail, and collected up all the bones. I had a little “secret place” in the woods, it was a pine forest, where I spent most of my time. I took my newly found bones there, and started sorting them, and trying to figure everything out. This is when I discovered that skeletons are like puzzles, every piece has its own place, and fits perfectly. I spent many hours placing bones together, finding where each one goes. Then I came up with the idea… I need to put it together! I went into my grandpa’s workshop, and took wire scraps, as well as small soldering wires… a little here, a little there, so he wouldn’t notice. I had to keep my project a secret, I figured my family wouldn’t like me dabbling around with dead stuff. It took me what seems like months to put that thing together. I worked so hard on it, and even harder on not telling anyone about it, because after all, it was the most awesome thing everrrr. Eventually I finished it… I felt so accomplished, although I probably didn’t have it right at all… haha I had to show someone. I couldn’t keep my amazing skeleton a secret anymore. I went next door, and got my friend. I took her into my pine forest, and her eyes lit up when she saw my skeletal contraption. We sat and talked about it for awhile, then she asked if she could take it to her family reunion the next day. That should have been a red flag, but it wasn’t. I handed it over, and made her promise to bring it back to me safely. A week passed, and I hadn’t heard a word from her. She was avoiding me. I marched over to her house, and asked where my skeleton was. I could tell by the look on her face something was wrong. Reluctantly, she told me what happened. Her family had freaked out, took the skeleton, and threw it away!!!! I could have died. I fussed and fought with her, because she had made me a promise, and I trusted her with my most prized possession, and had she have told me earlier, I could have maybe scavanged it back out of the garbage, but by then, it was long gone. I cried for weeks, sitting among the pines, wallowing in my sorrow. All that work for nothing. From working with those bones, I fell in love with every wrap of wire, ever bone that was placed together, my love for it grew… I had lost something so dear to me. I was so miserable, and so MAD.
I eventually told my mom what had happened, and surprisingly, she wasn’t mad one bit that I had been messing with bones! From then on, I collected every bone I found. I collected up a lot of skulls and several other miscellaneous bones, from venturing in the forest. I moved away from my house, and somehow those bones got lost. I wish I still had all my early collection, because I had more skulls then than I do now haha.
Bones have always amazed me, because they are literally so perfect. My love started with bones… but eventually tuned into full anatomy. I’m just so fascinated by the way bodies work, and how perfectly they are designed! I love anything to do with an animal, fur, organs, bones… all of it.
I don’t trap or kill, so I rely on road kill. Even if something is mangled, I’d rather pick it up off the road and bury it, than to leave it laying in the road. No animal deserves to be ran over a million times, being smashed to bits. I collect road kill for bones, and if it’s fresh, and in good condition, for fur. I started skinning last year. It opened up my eyes and heart so much. My love and appreciation skyrocketed when I cut into the first animal. I’ll never forget that moment. I sat there in tears, hurting so bad for the life lost. But I want no creature to be left for waste. I wanted to let that creature live on in a sense. I wanted to make something beautiful from a once living being, in hopes of gaining appreciation for the life of an animal.
Some people may walk into my house, and think I am insane…. but when it comes right down to it, it’s all for knowledge. I love animals, and I want to know how they work. I want to know it all. Some may say I’m strange, but I’ve accepted that. I’m okay with peoples dirty looks, while I’m walking around draped in bones. Peoples reactions to such things expose a lot about the person they are… whether they are open minded and an accepting cool person, or if they are uneducated judgmental fools. I just ignore the ones who look down on me, because they do not understand why I do what I do, nor do they care to know, and that’s okay. Not everyone has negative reactions to my bone collecting! I’ve had several strangers be fascinated by such, and even give me bones! I’ve had prissy children reaching into bone jars and asking what things are! I love teaching people to appreciate life, even in death, and every time someone says something nice about my dead stuff, I feel like I’ve made a little difference in the world.
I don’t believe I necessarily fit the public idea of what a scavenger would look like. People wouldn’t expect something like that out of me, unless they know me. I get funny looks all the time, picking up roadkill, wearing lace and such, haha. Or people driving by my house seeing a girl wearing a dress, skinning a raccoon. But, that’s okay. It’s very much part of me, and I’ll forever embrace it. I’m who I am, I’ll change for no one. I wear what I want, and I skin what I want. Hehe (: You don’t have to be “clean” all the time to be feminine, and loving dead things makes me no less of a woman! I’m very girly, but I’ll sure whip the car over in heartbeat at the sight of something dead!
I know who I am… and just because I love bones doesn’t make me a freak… it makes me part of Vulture Culture! I may be a tad creepy, but it’s all with good intentions! Cheers to all the scavengers, and bone collectors! I’m so happy to be part of this group! I look forward to getting to know everyone, sharing our scavenging stories, and photos!! You guys seriously are so awesome! I’ve found my people. I love you guys! (: