“The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.”

My feet are cold. I was outside reading the papers, and it felt chilly. The table is in the shade and the sun is still working its way around the house so the backyard has a bit of the night chill about it. While I was outside, I filled the seed and the suet feeders. Later, I’ll have to clean and refill the bird bath. Chickadees use it all the time to drink from while robins love a good bath.

Around six last night, my friend and I were on the deck enjoying a drink with some cheese and crackers. I noticed movement at a house across the street on the corner and kept trying to be attentive to my friend but also trying to keep an eye on the happening across the street. I thought I saw heads and spindly legs. I did. I was watching wild turkeys make their way down the street. I told my friend to turn around and take a look. She said she was wondering what had drawn my attention. Two of the turkeys were enormous, as big as I’ve ever seen. All of them, the toms and their hens, took their time wandering on another neighbor’s lawn and a few hens stopped to eat something. They then casually crossed the street to the yard next to mine. Gracie watched their progress from the deck. She didn’t bark but seemed as intrigued as we were. It has been a while since I’ve seen the turkeys on my street. It was fun to have them back.

My first plane flight was when I was a freshman in college. My parents gave me a ticket from Hyannis to Boston as an Easter gift. I was thrilled. The route was beautiful: over the water and the shore. The plane was old and perfect for my first flight. I had always wished I could have ridden in a PanAm Clipper during its heyday, and this plane reminded me a little of that. It was a prop and you had to walk uphill to your seats. The pilots were behind a curtain which didn’t shut all the way, and you could watch them at the controls. It was like going back in time.

That plane ride is my favorite of all, but I have a few others on the list. The flight from Argentina to Uruguay, a quick jump cross the water, had a raffle for a woman’s handbag. I didn’t win. A Ghana Airways flight from Tamale to Accra circled so many times I think the pilot was lost. It is the only plane on which I have ever felt air sick. It was all that circling. The flight to Cusco was the most dramatic. We were close enough to the mountains that we could see the shadow of the plane. On my first ever flight to Ghana, in 1969, I remember when we flew over the Sahara. It was like my geography book had come to life. I saw the rolling brown sand with what looked liked ridges, and it was a thrill I’ve never forgotten.

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18 Comments on ““The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Wild turkeys are always part of my Sunday ride with Big Rick – so much fun especially when there are baby wild turkeys

    A very happy almost birthday Friday day

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I have seen here on the cape far more often in the last few years and it seems my street is part of their route. I love it! This group looked like two toms with a harem. They took their time wandering, and I watched until they were out of sight.

      Thank you for my almost birthday wishes!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    That must have been a sight! No wild turkeys here but there were a few ostriches in the wild for several years further north. They managed to survive our winters for quite some time. I think it was Nandus (I think they are called Rhea too). They caught the last one alive this spring and now it has retired on a farm 🙂

    Most times I’ve been on an airplane has been uneventful. But the first time we flew in to a storm 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever forget that and one time we had almost landed when the plane roared and lifted again. Another plane had started to drive out just in front of the one I sat in 🙂

    But still, the worst one was when a few drunk women from Sweden made a fool of themselves on a British Airways plane from Portugal. That was so embarrasing that I hope I could forget it 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I wonder how the ostriches got there. They can’t be indigenous given your weather, and I am amazed they survived and happy one gets to live the good life. I think the rhea and the ostrich are relatives, but they’re not the same bird. The rhea come from South American and also cannot fly and look a lot like their cousins.

      I haven’t ever been on a scary flight nor have I had to endure bad adult passengers, but there was a kid who cried for hours. I think I could have strangled him.

      • olof1 Says:

        They had escaped from an ostrich farm. The Rhea belongs to the Ostrich family but I always think of the big one when saying ostrich 🙂

        I would have loved a crying baby instead of having these drunk women 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Christer,
        That baby didn’t stop for 10 hours.

        I knew the rhea and ostrich were related as they do resemble each other. It seems raising ostriches is the big new thing. It used to be llamas.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We haven’t had turkeys here for a few years. Before that there was a flock of 18 that wandered up and down the street and through the yards.
    I first came upon wild turkeys in Reading. There was a small flock that liked to stroll down the middle of Route 129 during rush hour, mornings and evenings, for about a month and a half. Added a little excitement to my work commute.

    Planes are not my favorite means of travel. My first flight was uneventful and that was a good thing but it’s still not my thing. I prefer trains. I can see myself on one of those old cross country trains a la The Thin Man. Or maybe the Orient Express. No murders, though. That would be unpleasant. 🙂

    It’s breezy, sunny and warm here. Rocky and I went for an early walk and I have done not very much since then. I put out the trash and watered a few plants. That’s enough.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      My first wild turkeys were along the side of 495 on the grass. I pulled over into the breakdown lane to get a look. Now I see them every now and then. This was a new flock as those toms were so huge I would have remembered them.

      I would have loved the old Orient Express as I too am a train lover, but there are times you ave no choice but to take a plane. Ghana used to have great trains, and I took the sleeper a couple of times. When I could in Europe, I took trains there too. I would love to have been with Desi and Lucy on their New York to California trip.

      I hd a doctor’s appointment in Hyannis and that’s about all I did all day.

      Have a great evening!!

  4. flyboybob Says:

    I have never seen a wild turkey. Can they fly?

    My first flight was when I was seven years old. My parents took the whole family on a visit to our relatives in NYC from Dallas in 1954. We flew on a non scheduled airline called North American in a WWII surplus DC-4. It was an unpressurized piston driven four engine propeller airplane. The flight took six hours to Washington’s National Airport and another hour and a half to La Guardia airport in New York. We flew at nine thousand feet and the pilot invited passengers to visit the flight deck while in cruise. I got to sit on the pilot’s lap and listen to the morse code radio signals on his headset. That’s when I fell in love with aviation. There was no such thing as security in those days.

    One of my favorite sayings is, “How can I expect to soar with eagles when I am stuck with turkeys.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I had to look that up as I have only seen them on the ground. This is what I found, “Despite their weight, wild turkeys, unlike their domestic counterparts, are agile fliers. In ideal habitat of open woodland or wooded grasslands,[14] they may fly beneath the canopy top and find perches. They usually fly close to the ground for no more than a quarter mile (400 m).”

      I was so much older for my first flight, but it was such a small plane, it was as if I were in the cockpit too. It was so beautiful a flight I knew it would not be my last. The travel bug had bitten me when I was eleven.

      I have heard that saying and sometimes understand it only too well.

  5. im6 Says:

    I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, but my first adventure with flight was in a helicopter. I must have been around 9 or 10 and I’m not sure I won a spin in the air or if my parents just let me think I did. Can’t believe they let me go up, but it was a magnificent adventure even if the scenery wasn’t so magnificent. Next trip was probably 10 years later in a small private plane (Piper Cub?) where I got to sit in the co-pilot seat (heck, come to think of it, I guess I was the co-pilot!). Now that was exciting as well, but I’m not sure I’d want to do that these days. I’m a bit more aware of how risky it probably is with a student pilot at the stick! Commercial flight just doesn’t compare to those trips. PS: If you’ve never been in a helicopter, do yourself a favor and take a small excursion. But just don’t do so in one of those big troop transport copters flying over Vietnam. That wasn’t so much fun!

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      I have been in a helicopter, and I love that it took off straight up. I have also been lucky enough to ride in a glider and a hot air balloon. My all time favorite was the balloon. I remember we met the owner at dawn and watched as he blew up the balloon with the hot air. We took off just after dawn. It was such a perfect day for balloons that three or four others were in the air. People came out in their robes and pajamas to watch and we went over a pig farm and the pigs all ran. We landed straight up in the basket-amazing.

      The glider was almost as good. The only thing I could hear was the air.

      • im6 Says:

        Ohhhhhh, I’m so jealous, Kat. The glider sounds especially appealing. I’ve always want to hang glide, but haven’t and probably won’t. Never had a desire to parachute, however. Same for zeppelins! (Dory Previn made sure I have a fear of those!)

      • katry Says:

        im6,
        The glider was out of Plymouth Airport. A plane hauled us up then the pilot of the glider unhitched us and we just glided through the air. I could see the ocean below us. He turned a few times, and I could hear the wind as we glider through the air. I figured that was what hawks probably hear when they soar.

      • im6 Says:

        Sounds glorious!

  6. katry Says:

    im6,
    It was unforgettable.


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