It’s 7:30 in the morning. I just got back from tracking a flock of wild turkeys through dense underbrush and am now plucking cactus needles out of my ankles.
I am an award-nominated spinster aunt, but my nomination was not, alas, in the field of wild turkey tracking. These turkeys were definitely in close proximity, but I never did, technically, espy one. Many people think of turkeys as stupid, goofy birds, but they are actually — for 20-pounders with brains the size of garbanzo beans — extremely accomplished in the art of not being seen.
They’re also extremely eloquent. I wish you could hear the eerie and sort of magical (but not really magical; as you know, I promote the scientific Weltanschauung) echo of their chill, burbling murmurs as it reverberates through the valley. This chill, burbling murmur is known in turkey circles as a “gobble.” It’s loud as fuck. The turkey flock wafts invisibly through the woods and the gobbling swells and seems to surge from everywhere at once and then suddenly – zippo. Like they just got beamed up.
The musical and poetical impact of this heartwarming avian nature crap experience rivals that of the celebrated lone-loon-on-a-misty-Minnesota-lake.