Roosting Turkeys

The rain continued this morning, but in the afternoon blue skies chased away the clouds. It was cool enough this morning that I wore a jacket when I went outside, but this afternoon it warmed up enough that I didn’t need one. We are in a transitional time in which a day can start out cool and end up warm. The weather was so nice this afternoon that I took my beloved dog, Hannah Joy, for a walk down the driveway.

The trees are a bit more colorful today than they were yesterday–or even this morning. I took my camera with me for a few photos. In the foreground of the photo above are milkweeds, on which the monarch butterflies lay their eggs. Further back, at the base of the trees, are some of the ferns that grow on our property. We have hundreds of ferns that are multiplying and spreading a bit more each year. I laugh when I think that downstate I once bought a couple fern roots from a seed catalog for at least $5 each. The ferns are now beginning to yellow as they die back for the winter.

Yesterday evening a small flock of turkeys walked across the yard in front of the house. Hannah Joy, of course, did not see them. She only sees invisible things, which she barks ferociously at as she rushes to the window. A little later, as I was walking around the house after making sure all the chickens were shut safely in the coop for the night, I heard the put-put-put sounds the turkeys make as they walk along and then loud flap-flap-flap as they flew up to roost in the trees for the night. I walked back into the garden to see if I could spot them without startling them. I saw one fly up into the tree.

The first time I experienced turkeys flying up to the trees to roost, I didn’t know what was going on. I heard a loud flapping but didn’t see anything. A moment later there was another loud flapping sound, but again I saw nothing. And then another. And another. “OOOOkay. this is weird.” Finally, I spotted turkeys flying one by one up into the trees. I was enchanted.

I always enjoy seeing the turkeys fly up to roost for the night–or fly down in the mornings. I don’t see them often because 1. they wander so they aren’t always on our property in the evenings when they take to the trees and 2. I have to be outside at just the right moment. But I’m always thrilled when I see them. I never get tired of it.

Until we moved to our Enchanted Forest, I wasn’t aware that turkeys could fly. To be honest, I didn’t think about turkeys all that often. If I had, I might have thought (duh) they are birds and birds fly. But ostriches and penguins are also birds and they don’t fly so….! Having lived in small towns all my life, I only saw turkeys when we happened to see a flock while we were driving from one place to another in the country. And when I saw them, they were always walking.

I think it’s easy to laugh at people who don’t know things–like turkeys flying to roost in trees at night. I don’t laugh because I think that often we assume that everyone knows what we know, but generally people don’t know about things they have no experience with. For example, the only experience most people have with chickens is buying them from a grocery store and eating them for dinner. So when people ask questions about my chickens, I patiently answer them, no matter how “dumb” the questions might seem because curiosity ought to be encouraged. The only way to learn things you don’t know is to ask questions. I enjoy telling people interesting things about chickens.

I also like to ask friends online about the places they live–whether it’s from a different region of the USA or from another country. I ask about their holidays, weather, gardening, and many other things. I learn interesting–and sometimes surprising–things. For example, I knew that Australia’s seasons are opposite of ours so Christmas falls in the middle of their summers. However, our Christmas songs in the northern hemisphere all describe wintry scenes–like Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, or “The First Noel” with its line “On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.” I asked an Australian friend if they have different Christmas songs in her country that reflect their summery weather. She said that mostly they sing the same wintry Christmas songs we do. It must be weird singing about snow while you are having a Christmas cookout at the beach.

I was surprised when an online friend who lives in the Pacific Northwest told me that she’s never seen a firefly–because they don’t have them there. Fireflies are such a part of Michigan that it never occurred to me that they weren’t a part of every child’s experience–especially in my own country. When I was a child, children would chase after fireflies after dark. We would catch them in jars and after admiring their lights for a while, release them. Even now I am filled with delight when I see the magical lights blinking on and off in the night.

Curiosity is a wonderful thing. It is a gateway to learning. I am curious about many things, which is why I have my page of Everything Links here on my blog.

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