Posted by: atowhee | August 3, 2021

SMOKED TURKEY

How do you get soot out of your feathers?

A friend in ASHland sends this report on her turkey neighbors, and smoke she has to breathe:

“The sun came up over Grizzly [Peak] at 6:30 – blood red from the smoke, but the turkeys were already up at 6:10 and getting out of bed/pine tree.
“The very interesting thing I have noticed is that when they fly down, each a few seconds after the other, they hang out on the field and if they suddenly stop mosing along (or harassing this or that one – the result of a just remembered beef from the previous day), you know they have realized that one of them has yet to appear. They ALL stand immobilized…… Then suddenly from out of the high, dense pine boughs, flies the delinquent last turkey………and they are off, usually one behind the other, on their walk to their first gleaning field at the end of the valley.
“I used to think that this was an altruistic move, looking after your group, but I think it is simply tribal. You all stick together. This is not unlike the humans in Ashland. We each may be thinking we should move away and save our skins from the ‘fire next time’, but we stay where we know people and they know us and we can depend (we think) on them……..But if the fire comes big time, we will all be in the same boat – pretty much helpless…………
It is yellow soup glen here now. They say it is from CA fires.”

She also sent this note and picture of some of her turks: “Male turkeys of Bobcat Glen seen in the happiest of times this spring – mating season. They will hang out together until next year’s mating season and get along fairly amicably. But come early next year there will be the annual competition for mating rights. After that their work is done – and that of the females will just be beginning as the females do ALL the work! nest building, brooding eggs, protecting the young and getting them raised. Poor, poor single mothers!”

Tom Fraternity Row, I’d say.

For old times sake, some turkey shots from when they came daily into our summer garden when we lived there…before heat and smoke drove us north:


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