Thursday, December 06, 2012

Wild Turkeys on Our Land!

I remember the first day I saw Wild Turkeys. It was as I was driving from Kansas to Colorado about 5 1/2 year ago and I saw them along the road. I quickly pulled over and grabbed my camera an took a quick photo before they ran over the hilltop.  
I have seen them only a couple of times since, including in Tennessee this summer (above photo) while driving around a Civil War battle site. As much as I love nature, can you imagine how thrilled I was today when I heard someone had seen about 25 wild turkeys on our ranch in Oklahoma??? They were in our black walnut grove and my husband is going to see if he can spot them tonight. I did a little research and read they eat nuts, so maybe that is why they are hanging out by our walnut trees!

Everyone has heard that Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national symbol instead of the bald eagle. But, I had never seen it in his own words before... this from a letter to his daughter:

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country....

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

1 comment:

lahbluebonnet said...

How great! I saw a wild turkey not far from our home the week after Thanksgiving! I thought that was great but 25 would be better!

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