Friday, November 22, 2013

Wattles in Sunshine

We are getting close to Turkey Day. I have to admit this is my favorite feast and white meat, gravy, mashies, salad, cranberry relish and stuffing is my all-time favorite meal. I don't like the idea of the giant indoor turkey farm any more than I like feedlots, farrowing cages or any of the rest of it. My answer so far is to limit severely my use of these meats (and, really, let's face it, any meats) without becoming a crusader. This group of wild turkeys visited our meadow all summer. On this day, the blood in their wattles caught the sunlight in a fine way. I hope they are still wandering around the no-hunting Nature Preserve that we have established there. They'll need to watch out for the coyote, who is also preserved. For such heavy, ungainly birds, they fly surprisingly well. I don't think they cover long distances, we usually see them walking around. (On this day, I think they were scoring grasshoppers.) Their rapid, noisy flight into a tree is quite spectacular. When a mother turkey has poults, she takes them to roost in a tree at night as soon as they are able to fly.
At the end of the year, I plan to reread this year's posts before I decide whether to embark on another year of daily posting. In the past, intermittent posting hasn't really worked very well . . . But, especially when I am a little more  tired than usual, the posts snuggle closer to the "I did this, then I did that" that I had promised to avoid.

Turkeys have a kind of plainness and ungainliness that reminded me of Lorine Neidecker, her life and poems. Audubon's great engraving of a tom turkey with his head bent round to fit on the engraving plate can be seen here, as well as many other sites on the Web.
Here is Lorine Niedecker's short poem from her recently published Lorine Neidecker; Collected Works, edited by Jenny Penberthy, available also on Kindle, so one can read them on one's smartphone. This is a good idea, since they are so pithy; they make perfect smartphone reading.


Tried selling my pictures. In jail

twice for debt. My companion

a sharp frosty gale.
         In England, unpacked 

them with fear:

must I migrate back

into the woods unknown, strange 

to all but the birds I paint?

Dear Lucy, the servants here

move quiet

as killdeer.

     ---Lorine Niedecker

Lucy was Audubon's long-suffering wife. By the way, I can definitely recommend the book, Audubon; the making of an American by Richard Rhodes. Do you have your turkey yet???


  1. I might like to check out that book because it is a subject that interests me. Now go enjoy your turkey and don't feel guilty about it!

  2. June--please keep your blog going. It is wonderful to be able to read your musings and book recommendations and the poems you choose. Love it!