Monday, October 19, 2009

Turkeys and Roadkill

Since moving to the southwest side of town where it is more rural, I've noticed this random pair of wild turkeys that live close to the protected river trail which borders the main highway. I have occasionally see them poking about on the corner at the stoplight (which actually has a nice crosswalk considering it's a highway.)

A few weeks ago I saw one of the pair wandering around at the corner and my mind instantly said "Mmm! Thanksgiving dinner!" I laughed to myself, but then became a little worried as the wild gobbler was really close to the traffic and I was concerned it would quickly become roadkill. Indeed it was a miracle the turkeys weren't already a pile of feathers and fluff on the side of the road.

Then not too long ago I saw both turkeys hanging out at the corner once again. They seemed to be waiting for something. The light turned green for cross traffic and those turkeys promptly began strutting across the street at the crosswalk! I was amazed! Smart turkeys? Who knew? Apparently their sojourn at the corner with blazing traffic night and day had made them street-wise. In fact, I had to wait to turn left until they made it safely across the crosswalk to the other side. I haven't seen them since.

Living in suburbia most of my life, I have still felt I was always a country girl at heart. I love being in nature enough to be able to smell it engulfing me every day. However, I have been mildly surprised by how much nature still startles me - certain evidence that I am still really a suburban girl.

For instance - my son and I were taking our usual walk past our outskirt homesteads (most especially to visit the farm dog). Along the way I have been astonished by how much roadkill we encounter. And strangely, it is roadkill of only one kind: snakes! It is not very pleasant to cruise by, pushing the stroller where the roadkill is at our very feet - squished serpentine shapes laid flat by careless passing cars. What's even more strange is that I counted six dead snakes in a single 100 foot stretch! I didn't point them out to my son, but he noticed anyway and seemed unfazed when I told him it was a dead snake. We even found a dead, unsquished one which was much more interesting in its 3-D form, pristine and round as if the snake had stretched out for a nap. All this squished snake business has been a reminder to me that when I have my farm/homestead at last we will be dealing with the death of animals a lot more often.

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