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May 10, 2011

Life Speaks: The Turkey

I'm sure  we've all heard it through the grapevine: The turkey was SUPPOSED TO BE our national bird!  But then it got replaced with the Bald Eagle, who spends half its time stealing lunch from other hard working birds.

Turkeys were almost wiped out, with hunting and other environmental stressors, at least in the North East.  But, they're having a come back now.  I was lucky enough to both hear a turkey making its call and find one of his feathers on the same day.  There's something almost eerie about the turkey call.

And turkeys in general.  They spend the nights in trees - some of the only times you'll see them fly.  But wandering the woods at night or around sunset, and seeing a giant black... thing, in a tree, it can freak you out.

In any case, the Life Speaks posts are all about what this animal means to you.  Turkeys are tribal signs of abundance and thanksgiving (yes, I know, you could have told me that).  They are also, apparently, very good at predicting the future - they get a bit ornery when the weather is about to turn bad.

I think turkeys can remind us of the beauty of large animals in our forests.  They're almost prehistoric, being so large and just... there.  I wouldn't want to screw with a turkey.  I've tried.  It doesn't end well.  But deer are pretty much, unfortunately, some of the largest "big" animals around now (no wolves, cougars, bears...) - at least you have to kind of look for Turkeys.

They also remind us about vanity.  The males are just like peacocks, calling and strutting and begging to get laid.  This can be a good thing (honor your body), or a bad thing (completely self centered).  As always, balance is important.

If you see a Turkey, sit and watch if you can.  Just observe the behavior.  They're fascinating creatures.  Then give thanks to the gods for making such a unique bird (with the PERFECT quill feathers), and let the poor bird go back to trying to get laid 🙂

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