Monday Menagerie: Feathery Flashback

As high summer has us in its grip here in the Southern Hemisphere, with near-drought conditions again threatening us with brown grass and the start of cracks in the soil, I’ve gone back in my archives to six years ago, to a welcome relief from a several-month-long winter drought when we lived in Nebraska. The relief came in the form of a beautiful snowfall that started around 9:30 in the morning and lasted for about 5½ hours. When I went out to shovel the driveway, I heard the unmistakable chittering and cooing of several turkeys calling softly to each other, a sound I hadn’t heard for a couple of months. I spied a flock of ten toms slowly working their way in my direction, so I slowly went back into the garage, put the shovel down, hurried inside, grabbed my camera, and slowly made my way back outside, standing very still and very quietly near the foot of the driveway. They didn’t seem to mind the click of my shutter at all, and we watched and studied each other for about 15 minutes before they ambled out of range again. It’s a memory I will long remember. Meanwhile, back to the present, rain is predicted—at last—for tomorrow. I hope it will come, as the land really needs it, with water restrictions and well-below-normal reservoir levels. Here’s hoping.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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19 Responses to Monday Menagerie: Feathery Flashback

  1. Close encounters of the avian kind. We seldom stop to think how incongruous it is that this American bird should be called a turkey. The American Heritage Dictionary gives this etymology: “After Turkey, from a confusion with the guinea fowl, once believed to have originated in Turkish territory.” But no stranger than calling the original people here Indians.

    As today from New Zealand you commemorated America six years ago, yesterday in America I commemorated New Zealand six years ago. Happy reciprocity.

    • krikitarts says:

      I should have been wondering most of my life why it’s called a turkey, but I guess I just grew up with it and never thought much about it. Thanks for the revelation. And what a fine reciprocal coincidence indeed.

  2. Meanderer says:

    How lovely that they let you photograph them! Sad to hear about the drought there; I do hope the rain arrives for you.

  3. A nice look back! I hope you get that rain!

  4. Vicki says:

    Beautiful shots. It’s times like these when the birds remain still in our presence that mean as much, if not more, than the images from the time.
    It’s a moment of deep trust.

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Wonderful birds, very striking! :)

  6. shoreacres says:

    I was struck by your description of their vocalizations: chittering and cooing. I wouldn’t have expected that. Of course, the only times I’ve encountered wild turkeys, they’ve been fairly excited, trying to disappear into the grasses or the corn, and their sounds were much louder and somewhat harsher.

    I hope you received some rain. We had a glorious Sunday, and now we’re into the fog and drizzle that often precedes a cold front. Today, we were around 70F; by the weekend and early next week we’ll be in Nebraska territory, temperature-wise. It shouldn’t be so bad here at the coast, but we’ll drop below freezing for a day or two.

    • krikitarts says:

      It was a rare treat to be able to be quite literally among a flock like this as they were casually foraging. They kept up a fairly-constant quiet, mumbling conversation with each other, and I felt privileged to have been accepted as nothing to be concerned about. It is a treasured memory.

  7. I get to see plenty of turkeys here but they are not as accommodating as these were. I wonder if Ben had his way and they were our national bird would we be eating eagles instead? Nah.
    Hope you see some rain soon.

    • krikitarts says:

      That is one concept that is quite frightening to even begin to ponder, and your “Nah” is the only possible reasonable response. What comes to mind it: Ben (was) there, (but) done (with) that.

      • I guess I can have scary thoughts at times. In my defense, I have never eaten an eagle. Many years ago I boycotted what had been a favorite restaurant here in town for their “Wild Beastie Week” when they would serve lion, hippo, rhino, wildebeest, etc. There’s no need for that although I guess some can find their own reason.

      • krikitarts says:

        I’m with you all the way with complete disinterest in exotic meats for the sake of novelty. I have tried ostrich in Australia and rattlesnake in Texas, but that’s about the extent of my carnivorous adventures.

  8. bluebrightly says:

    The composition in the first photo is excellent but the third one really gets me – I just love it. They are so funny looking. Going out to shovel the snow had its reward. I hope the drought isn’t too bad this year.

    • krikitarts says:

      It’s such a treat to be able to catch one up close for all their remarkable character. We have now had some very nice relief from the drought, and we hope it continues. Thanks, Lynn.

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