Posted tagged ‘wild turkeys’

“Let us not curse the darkness. Let us kindle little lights.”

November 28, 2014

Last night I was in bed before eleven, most unusual for me the night owl, and I slept until almost ten. I figure I was suffering from a Thanksgiving dinner hangover. My plate was filled with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and squash. I was so filled I had to pass on dessert, on pumpkin pie and chocolate pie. I will have some today after my second Thanksgiving dinner.

Snow flurries fell this morning, but they didn’t last too long and no snow stayed on the ground. Right now it is so very cold and grey, an unpleasant day. Every now and then, though, I see a brightness, a break in the grey. I figure it is from the sun trying to find its way out of the clouds.

Tomorrow I’ll shop and take Gracie to the dump. That means we’re each going on a favorite trip. My trunk is filled. I’d go today, but the dump is closed.

Now is the time for Christmas to move front and center. My factotum needs to come and decorate the outside of my house. I need to go to the garden store and get wreaths. A giant one is hung on the fence and a smaller one on the door. My house always looks so wonderful that I sometimes drive by just to look, just to see the lights. My neighbor across the street tells me she loves looking out her door at my house. She especially loves the old sled with the pair of skates hanging off the steering bar. That sits by my door. On the step is a pottery bowl filled with colored ornaments. One of my favorite decorations is a tree with naked branches decorated with huge ornaments and a flood light shining on them at night. The fence in front of my house is lit as is the back rail and the fence across the driveway.

My neighbor just called and said a flock of wild turkeys is in my yard. I opened the door and one was on the front step but took off at the sound of the door. More were on my lawn. The flock was fourteen turkeys looking plump and healthy. I took pictures.

Today is a relax at home day, one of my favorite way to spend a day.

“Clearly, animals know more than we think, and think a great deal more than we know.”

September 5, 2014

The heat is still here and today it will again be coupled with humidity. It is the third keep the air conditioner running day this week. I am beginning to feel like a hermit behind locked doors and closed windows. Gracie is content sleeping in her crate. I can hear her snores all the way from the kitchen down the long hall. Boxers are wonderful dogs, but they do snore loudly and some drool, like Gracie when she wants what I’m eating. Sometimes she even has bubbles.

The red spawn of Satan has been hosed twice already this morning. The second time he took off into the next yard, but I don’t trust the sneaky spawn. He’ll come back thinking I won’t notice. I will and it will drive me crazy. That rodent is pushing me closer and closer to buying a have-a heart-trap for spawns which is sort of odd as I have nothing but contempt for them. I figure I’ll catch the beastie and relocate it far, far away from here. Good luck finding your way back to my bird feeders, spawn of Satan.

When I was young, I loved going with my family to the Boston Public Garden. We’d ride the swan boats and walk around to see the flower gardens. In the pond there were always ducks waiting for a handout and gray spawns romped all over the grass. I even fed them a few times, but what did I know? I was a kid.

I don’t remember a whole lot of wildlife romping around my neighborhood when I was growing up. Even on the other of the tall grass, where there was a bit of woods and the swamp, there were no critters, but here on the cape, in my yard and on the street, I have seen opossums, raccoons, skunks, wild turkeys, chipmunks, rabbits, foxes and coyotes and for a couple of years pheasants used my front yard as a shortcut to the next street. Gracie usually lets me know if we have company. She has been sprayed by a skunk, has run around the yard with a baby gray spawn in her mouth which I had to save and did the same thing with the adult possum who even convinced me it was dead. I watched her go in circles around a tree chasing a mouse doing the same thing just ahead of her. I collared Gracie and saved the mouse. Another time I had save Gracie from the giant raccoon she had cornered on the deck. She wasn’t happy with me. When Gracie barks and jumps on the front screen door, I know she’s seen something. I always check. Sometimes it is just a dog being walked or the cat who saunters on my neighbor’s lawn. That drives Gracie the craziest even though she lives with two cats. She barely notices the wild turkeys. I guess she thinks they’re humdrum.

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

August 16, 2013

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.

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!”

January 17, 2013

Yesterday it poured all day, but off-Cape had snow so I’m not complaining. Miss Gracie and I did a dump run, and I didn’t even bother to change out of my flannel pants and sweat shirt. The dump was pretty empty in the rain.

The mouse count is now 14. Two got caught yesterday: one in the plastic trap and one in the have-a-heart. I have a story. The one in the plastic trap was making so much noise scratching and banging that it woke me up. I wanted to sleep in peace so I decided, despite the dark and the rain, to take it outside. I walked across the street, my usual deportation spot, and was about to open the trap when I heard, “Hello.” I just about jumped out of my skin. I turned around and all I saw was a light, not a flashlight but a bigger light. “Who is it?” I asked. “Billy,” was the answer. It was my neighbor carrying the light, an umbrella and a huge cup of steaming coffee. He was walking Cody, his dog. I asked the time. It was six o’clock. He wanted to know why I was in the rain, in the dark at six o’clock. I told him about my mice. He said he was sorry.

When I was a kid, I never did see much wildlife where I lived, maybe a skunk or two but that was about it. We saw cows at the farm and animals at the zoo but nothing exciting in the woods. Here on the Cape I’ve seen deer, rabbits, foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes and the common skunks, raccoons and ugly opossums, though that last one is redundant. I didn’t mention the spawns on purpose. The coyotes are common but usually at night or early morning. I used to see them on my way to work. They all looked healthy. I know one is around here when the rabbits disappear and when I can hear the horrible screams of the prey when the coyotes hunt. I never worried about Gracie as she is too big to interest a coyote. A friend once saw a coyote dragging her small dog by its hind quarters trying to take it. The dog was crying and scratching the ground in an attempt to get some traction to run. My friend saved her dog who only had a few bite marks. Another friend’s dog, another small dog, was attached to an overhead line in the backyard. The coyote grabbed the dog in its mouth and ran. When they got to the end of the line, the dog popped right out of the coyote’s mouth and was saved. The wild turkeys are the most fun to watch. They travel in fairly large groups, fluff their tail feathers as they run and make all sorts of noises. They’re now pretty common, but the first time I saw them I stopped my car to watch.

Wild turkeys can fly unlike the ones on WKRP in Cincinnati, a program I used to love. I’ll never forget the program entitled Turkeys Away. In a Thanksgiving promotion the station decided to give away turkeys and to drop them from a helicopter.

“It’s a helicopter, and it’s coming this way. It’s flying something behind it, I can’t quite make it out, it’s a large banner and it says, uh – Happy… Thaaaaanksss… giving! … From … W … K … R… P!! No parachutes yet. Can’t be skydivers… I can’t tell just yet what they are, but – Oh my God, Johnny, they’re turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they’re plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!”