Monday, November 21, 2011

My Life As a Turkey

Last weekend we watched an interesting/strange program on PBS about Joe Hutto, a naturalist, who spent 18 months raising a family of wild turkeys in Florida.  He'd found a bowl of 16 turkey eggs on his front porch and decided to incubate them, imprint them on himself and raise them.  The show reenacted the 18 months he spent living with them, living closely, very closely, spending hours a day in their coop after he'd lost one to a snake, with them.  I can't imagine being that close to turkeys, we lived near, a mile or two away, from a turkey farm in Colorado and on windy days boy did they stink!
The program was intriguing, I loved his relationship with Sweetpea and Turkey Boy, I liked that he learned to mimic their vocalizations, but I didn't need to see him eating a grasshopper or really believe all the personality attributes he gave  to the turkeys, a bit of wishful thinking at times I think.  I don't think I realized that turkeys flew, I mean I know chickens fly short distances, but it was wild to see the turkeys fly up into the trees to roost.  We saw a flock of wild turkeys the last time we were out on Cumberland Island, they we certainly a long-legged bunch, darn near as tall as  me, but then I'm not very tall.
Wild turkeys are rather different from our domestic ones, they look taller and definitely have smaller breasts.  Our domestic ones have been bred to have huge breasts so there'll be lots of white meat at dinner.
After 18 months of being their mother the turkeys all left him, except for Turkey Boy, who eventually turned on him and attacked him.
He's now living in Wyoming with a herd of deer, rather a strange man.
Here's Mac's painting of a turkey he did a few years ago.


2 comments:

  1. What an interesting documentary.
    Mac's painting is a wonderful depiction. Great colours and values.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Helenxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. We see wild turkeys pretty regularly in our neck of the woods. They do fly more than one expects them to. What a beautiful painting.

    ReplyDelete

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