Monday, March 26, 2018

Thawing turkeys #phenology

We're used to having turkeys scratching under the bird feeders. It doesn't happen daily, but, in warmer weather, varies from a few times a week to a few weeks between visits. This morning there was a pair of hen turkeys scratching through the snow under the front feeder. The second bird had disappeared by the time we got the camera out.

hen turkey checking under feeder
hen turkey checking under feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

Imagine our surprise as we then headed toward the kitchen to freshen our coffee and noticed company on the deck railing. We think she was trying to figure out if she could find a way to perch someplace and get at the seeds in the feeder. Eventually, she flew down without having solved that puzzle. After a Winter with almost no sightings whatsoever of turkeys, today's visit was another sure sign the Spring is on its way and that bears aren't the only hungry critters in our woods.

hen turkey on deck railing next to feeder
hen turkey on deck railing next to feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

The snow that fell overnight amounted to a little more than an inch or so around our neighborhood. It's forecast to return this afternoon, but may do so as rain. Daily thaws and nightly refreezes should be doing wonders for those tapping maple trees this Spring. We, having no such activity available, look forward to a complete melt-down of what's left of Winter. But, as today's Daily Good reading notes, we're also remembering to savor, rather than hurry, the transition. There are two additional classic thaw poems at the link. We suggest you see if you like them, especially Issa's haiku.

The Thaw

I saw the civil sun drying earth’s tears —
Her tears of joy that only faster flowed,

Fain would I stretch me by the highway side,
To thaw and trickle with the melting snow,
That mingled soul and body with the tide,
I too may through the pores of nature flow.

But I alas nor tinkle can nor fume,
One jot to forward the great work of Time,
‘Tis mine to hearken while these ply the loom,
So shall my silence with their music chime.

- Henry David Thoreau

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