Turkeys

3-30-2017

Coming home from work, thinking of all the things one thinks about while driving, lists of things needing to be done, lists of groceries and supplies needing to be purchased, lists of projects whose next stage needs to be accomplished, lists and tasks. The winding road follows a creek, steep hill, wide field, creek, more fields, forested hillside leading up the mountain. I notice an odd grouping of black lumps in the far field, and slow down. Looking more closely, I realize they are wild turkeys, maybe 50 or more. I pull over to the side of the road and watch. From this far away, individual features are indiscernible, but I can see how the group interacts and behaves. They are slowly making their way across the field, picking and pecking at the ground and each other when one get too close to another’s personal space. Although they are in several smaller groups within the bigger whole, the individual turkeys wander from group to group as some walk faster and slower than others. An altercation breaks out, one turkey runs wings flapping akimbo, another chasing it, neck stretched out, head down, sharp beak at the ready. It’s over just as suddenly. Off to one side and separated by enough space to enhance the show are three males. I can tell they are males from the display! Tails open, spread out in layered feathered fans, wings down, pointed, dragging on the ground. Strutting around in circles, surveying their domain. I’m impressed, even if all the other females ignore them and keep on foraging.

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