The Bird of Life and Death

In Mayan culture, each person had an animal companion. Although most leaders’ animal was the leopard, because it symbolizes strength and power, my animal is the opposite. I chose the vulture as my companion. These birds are disgusting scavengers, who wait for an animal to die and then eat the corpse, instead of loathsome predators, who must kill other animals for their food. There are many types of these nasty creatures, but the Turkey Vulture is my favorite. This vulture variant is most common in North America and the United States and has a bald, red-colored head with two large nostrils. Ugly. Gruesome. Massive. Vultures are sickly savage scavengers. Because these birds are grotesque, many people are frightened of them. They don’t have to work for their meals, since they feed on roadkill and rotting carcasses. Therefore, they have a carefree life compared to other birds, who either have to hunt other animals or have to worry about being hunted. Vultures are common in almost every continent, excluding Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica. In Mayan times and still to this day, my animal companion, the vulture, symbolized the cycle of life and death, which is why I chose it.

5 Winter Storms

Major Cities Impacted:

Des Moines, Iowa: 14”
Sioux City, Iowa/South Dakota: 10”
Bismarck, North Dakota: 10”
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 6”
Kansas City, Missouri: 6”
St. Louis, Missouri: 3”
Memphis, Tennessee: 2”
Tupelo, Mississippi: 4”
Greenville, South Carolina: 6”
Huntsville, Alabama: 2”
Nashville, Tennessee: 7”
Knoxville, Tennessee: 5”
Asheville, North Carolina: 11”
Springfield, Illinois: 7”
Indianapolis, Indiana: 12”
Lexington, Kentucky: 5”
Greensboro, North Carolina: 4”
Charlotte, North Carolina, 3”
Cincinnati, Ohio: 10”
Cleveland, Ohio: 9”
Richmond, Virginia: 3”
Roanoke, Virginia: 12”
Washington, D.C.: 4”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 13”
Rochester, New York: 21”
Buffalo, New York: 20”
New York, New York: 5”
Boston, Massachusetts: 3”
Bangor, Maine: 8”

Snowplow in Greenville, South Carolina.

Major Cities Impacted:

Panama City, Florida: 1”
Jackson, Mississippi, 3”
Mobile, Alabama: 2”
Birmingham, Alabama: 13”
Atlanta Georgia: 4”
Huntsville, Alabama: 7”
Greenville, South Carolina, 10”
Nashville, Tennessee: 11”
Knoxville, Tennessee: 15”
Columbia, South Carolina: 2”
Raleigh, North Carolina: 4”
Greensboro, North Carolina: 10”
Asheville, North Carolina: 31”
Chattanooga, Tennessee: 23”
Richmond, Virginia: 6”
Roanoke, Virginia: 19”
Charleston, West Virginia: 21”
Washington, D.C.: 7”
Baltimore, Maryland: 12”
Cincinnati, Ohio: 18”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 14”
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 11”
New York, New York: 15”
Rochester, New York: 30”
Syracuse, New York: 43”
Boston, Massachusetts: 10”
Concord, New Hampshire: 22”
Augusta, Maine: 18”

Snowdrifts in Watauga County, North Carolina.

Major Cities Impacted:

Little Rock, Arkansas: 7”
Corinth, Mississippi: 2”
Memphis, Tennessee: 2”
Nashville, Tennessee: 14”
Huntsville, Alabama: 4”
Atlanta, Georgia: 6”
Knoxville, Tennessee: 10”
Asheville, North Carolina: 15”
Lexington, Kentucky: 13”
Charlotte, North Carolina: 4”
Greensboro, North Carolina: 6”
Cincinnati, Ohio: 8”
Charleston, West Virginia: 18”
Richmond, Virginia: 12”
Washington, D.C.: 26”
Baltimore, Maryland: 24”
Burlington, Delaware: 14”
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 23”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 10”
Trenton, New Jersy: 24”
New York, New York: 19”
Albany, New York: 5”
Boston, Massachusetts: 5”

Snow in Trenton, New Jersy.

Major Cities Impacted:

Nashville, Tennessee: 7”
Knoxville, Tennessee: 10”
Atlanta, Georgia: 5”
Greenville, South Carolina: 8”
Charlotte, North Carolina: 4”
Greensboro, North Carolina: 9”
Asheville, North Carolina: 19”
Richmond, Virginia: 10”
Roanoke, Virginia: 23”
Charleston, West Virginia: 27”
Washington, D.C.: 22”
Baltimore, Maryland: 24”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 9”
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 30”
Newark, New Jersy: 28”
New York, New York: 20”
Boston, Massachsutes: 18”

Yonkers, New York after the storm.

Major Cities Impacted:

Alburquerque, New Mexico: 10”
Lubbock, Texas: 10”
Nashville, Tennessee: 6”
Greenville, South Carolina: 10”
Knoxville, Tennessee: 5”
Charlotte, North Carolina: 3”
Asheville, North Carolina: 21”
Greensboro, North Carolina: 12”
Raleigh, North Carolina: 7”
Richmond, Virginia: 11”
Roanoke, Virginia: 14”
Charleston, West Virginia: 6”

Snow in Lexington, North Carolina.

The Beginning of Islam

Mohammed, who didn’t like the busy city of Mecca where camels spit, people argued, and hot air burned his shoulders, often journeyed alone to the desert. On one of these peaceful trips, he wandered into a cool, dark cave. The melancholy man heard soothing music, so Mohammed looked up and spotted and felt the warm glow of what he thought was an angel. He also noticed a scroll with fiery letters. Although Mohammed was illiterate, he somehow directly read it and the instructions clearly stated that he was to be Allah’s messenger. He traveled home and told his bewildered wife about the strange event, and she encouraged him.

Modern day Mecca

The “angel” visited Mohammed more and advised him to preach to the people of Mecca. Some listened and believed, whereas others didn’t and he made extensive enemies. The prophet and his friend and follower, Abu Bakr, who were eating dinner heard irate soldiers banging violently on his door. “We should find a hiding place before those soldiers get inside,” screamed Abu Bakr. Abruptly, they fled to the nearest cave for refuge. 

Evidently, there was an unbroken spider web across the entrance of the quiet cave, so the soldiers thought that if they had gone in there they would have broken it. Mohammed and his friend who were miraculously saved, were relieved. This event marked the beginning of Islam.