Thursday, November 13, 2014
Let's Talk Turkey
Bessie checked the perimeter and I sat on the deck and listened to the turkeys. A group of eight hens under the live oak by the house was conversing with another flock down in the woods. Turkeys have what appears to be a fairly extensive vocabulary. The familiar "gobble-gobble" is not actually used all that much, more during times of conflict than any other. There is a kind of whistle, and a clucking sound, and an almost "peep-peep-peep." When one of the flock gets separated (usually because one will forget how to fly back over the fence), they cry with the most plaintive call of all. "Where are you? Wait for me! Don't leave me all alone!" The war cries when flocks fight need no interpretation, but I wish there were a lexicon of turkey talk so I could listen in with more assurance to their conversations. The important mating ritual is carried out in silence. The males strut with measured steps, tails spread regally, accompanied only by the drumbeat of wings on the ground. Females seemingly ignore these posturings, quietly pecking through the leaves as if they could care less but, I see, watching from the corner of their eyes while choosing whose favors to accept. I'm an inveterate, unabashed eavesdropper; what can I say?
Welcome rain came in the night (the girls will have a differing opinion) and it continues to drizzle as it becomes light. Clay is coming up today. I see chicken stroganoff in his future and a great day in mine.