Thursday, November 27, 2014

When turkeys attack back

Where would you find turkeys AND lobster traps? Not in Michigan

He is very mad and is charging me
I watched My Life as a Turkey last night. A man in the Florida wilds raises 16 turkeys from eggs to adulthood. He clucks to the eggs and they respond. I did not know that unborn birds, at least turkeys, make noises. When they hatch, they know the man by sound to be their mother and they follow him around. He stays with them from dawn to sunset learning their behaviors for 16 months. Then they left him except for Turkey Boy, who for a while keeps him company but one day views him as a threat and viciously turns on him. He mentions that wild turkeys are very different than their domesticated cousins whose clever behaviors are bred out of them.

I do love wild turkeys. Just look at a close up of their iridescent feathers below, so beautiful. Also note the sizeable back spurs that they aren't afraid to impale you with. I rarely saw them in southern Michigan until the last ten years or so. (instead I saw pheasants, haven't seen one in a long time)There was a flock on my running route near the scenic road I would see regularly until this summer when the developers came and destroyed their habitat (one of the main reasons I want to move). The flocks around here are small, 6 to 10 birds but the above turkeys, came from a massive flock, 50-100 birds, just outside of Rockport, Massachusetts.

We were staying in Massachusetts 3 years ago for a month awaiting Tessa's birth (we came early due to a false alarm). We'd take day trips never venturing much more than 2 hours from Boston. When I saw the massive flock, Oliver (then 4) and I got out of the car with me trying to take photos. But they kept running away. Finally 3 toms turned around and charged us. The one above puffed up his feathers and his head turned bright red (sign of an angry bird) and faced us. My reaction? op. Oliver just laughed. Later we trolled the internet (the boys loved train crashes) for turkey attacks. Lots of them. One turkey decided a lady's front yard was his territory and would  attack her every time she left the house during daylight. She had to carry a broom. When the local news showed up for the story, they were attacked. Turkzilla they called him. I guess I put Oliver in danger though I seemed to be the tom's main target.

I've read that the first Thanksgiving that took place not far from the huge Massachusetts flock consisted mainly of lobster as turkeys weren't so plentiful.  Hmmm..if a 100 turkey flock could survive in 2012, I bet there were even more turkeys (though I guess there were many more predators). in the 1600s.

Back to my domesticated turkey. I have until 10 to make the dressing and put this thing in the oven. The turkey isn't as big as I think we need for 12 people, 5 being children. But for some of them, this won't be their first dinner of the day. It will be Shanna's family's third and Maya's second. Josh spent last night with Julie's father and tomorrow with the mom. Divorce causes scheduling issues. The kids will have to eat in a separate room than the grown-ups due to our tiny dining room, not a problem in the huge house we revisited yesterday with Josh. (he loved it..he sees buying it from us when we become infirm...).

But I am thankful, for being able to see my kids and their kids so often and our good health.



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