Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18: Turkeys

Early this morning on my way to Beech Hill I had to stop for traffic. Although in a few hours the steady line of cars would once more be streaming along Route One, at 6:30 a.m. on a back road in sleepy Rockport, Maine, it wasn't cars that were holding me up. It was a flock of turkeys. As I stopped the car and watched several hens rush out of the way, a small flock of poults scattering behind them, I was reminded of a childhood visit to Scotland when we frequently had to stop the car for a flock of free-roaming sheep, or--my favorite--Scottish long-haired cows. There's something special about living in a place where one has to stop for animals on a regular basis.

The turkey flock looked healthy and certainly moved off the road with agility for such large birds. They're such odd-looking creatures, especially the young ones with their skinny necks and awkward bodies. But they can run. The acorns and beechnuts are beginning to drop onto the forest floor, and these mast crops make up a big part of a turkey's diet. So I imagine I'll be stopping for more than one flock of foraging turkeys in the weeks ahead.

Morning turkey trot
as my car scatters the flock.
An excuse to pause.

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