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Sunday, November 6, 2011

And Is That Marlon Perkins Over There On The Swings?

I live in the city. The houses are close together, the lawns are small. Things are rather orderly on my side of town: thugs and wannabe thugs alike are identifiable by their droopy drawers; bums sleeping under pine trees are required to clean up when they leave; dogs are on leashes, for the most part; cats creep along life’s wooded edges, eyeing juicy birds and untended grills; and children run free until curfew.

City wildlife.

Winters in the city are much quieter than the summers, of course. The bums go to Florida, the thugs lie on couches in their moms’ basements, dreaming Kool-Aid-and-cough-syrup dreams; and the downstairs folks' cat, a stray who used at least one of his nine lives last January by nearly freezing to death, now lies in the sun that pours through their living room window, eyes closed and smiling.

But outside of the luckiest kitty in the world and the wily city bunnies, the odd raccoon, and the occasional park-bench drunk, there is little in the way of city wildlife.

Until now. Because now there are turkeys.

Friday evening, I watched a turkey hen run past my house and down the street, a large and rather ugly bird, strikingly out of place.

This was actually quite exciting. Not as exciting as the raccoon I surprised whilst he was rooting through my garbage a couple years ago, but then again it wasn’t 2:00 a.m., I wasn’t pleasantly inebriated and walking down the alley, and the turkey didn’t rear up on its hind legs and show me all his teeth.

Wild life in the city! My sister – who claims to see enormous “dinosaur” birds in the open fields around her house, by the way – wanted to know if I had plans to trap and eat it. I do not. I have no idea where that bird’s been, what it’s been eating, or who it’s friends with.

You cannot be too careful.

It is the city, after all.

40 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

What on earth was a turkey doing on a city street. They like open fields, preferably grain or corn fields, and trees to roost in. Can you imagine something the size of a wild turkey getting off the ground? Don't want to be under that one when it lets fly. Keep your camera handy....I'd like to see this one.

Fragrant Liar said...

Shows you his teeth? I want what YOU were drinkin'!

Or maybe not. I'd rather my birds don't bite back.

Douglas said...

Having lived in cities and very rural areas, I know all the types of wild life you mention. Even had that confrontation with a raccoon who, like yours, had thought to stake a claim on my trash can. Also had wild pigs run through my yard (no, not in the city) but I have never seen a turkey run free. Ducks, geese, the occasional chicken (all of which "belonged" to someone) but no turkeys. I only saw those driving in city traffic.

Linda Myers said...

We live in the suburbs and have possums, squirrels (tree rodents), raccoons, chickens an occasional coyote. But no turkeys except the one in my neighbor's coop.

Camille said...

Yup...got lots of those hanging around the backyard hoping I'll invite them in to get warm. Turkeys managed to get themselved endangered and then were re-introduced back into the woods of NE around 30 years ago. Now they're becoming more common than house sparrows. Funny lookin' buggers too. I'm thinking one of them probley hitchhiked over to your neighborhood - it certainly didn't fly there.

Sharon Longworth said...

From the comfort of my sofa on a cold November afternoon, the closest I'm likely to get to wildlife is if the spider currently taunting me from the uncleaned corner of the ceiling decides to dangle a little closer. Even then, I think that might be less scary than a turkey running rampant...

Vapid Vixen said...

You don't wanna mess with Turkeys. They DO have friends. And those friends WILL come for you. Like a turkey mafia. And from what I hear, it's the worst type of mafia.

That gentleman's lady said...

Is that dinner sort of Turkey or pest sort of Turkey?

They gobble a lot.... really really loudly

Belle said...

That is interesting. I would be shocked if I saw a turkey running down my street! It must have broken free from a back yard somewhere. Very funny!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

There was a large Tom Turkey stopping traffic, attacking tires and causing general mayhem in out town all summer. The animal control group finally coralled him. Don't know who got to eat what in the end....
The racoons on the other hand, make their way right inside our garage if we forget to close it tightly at night. Talk about walking out in your slippers and underwear....the screaming alone is enough to scare away all life forms, wild and otherwise!
Rosemary

Jo said...

Someone's Thanksgiving turkey escaped! ROFL

jenny_o said...

Hilarious!

I think, like you, I'd rather meet a turkey than a raccoon, and I'm even more sure I'd rather meet a turkey than a skunk. We have plenty of both, plus copious numbers of deer, in our town. The deer won't hurt you unless you're in their path when they get spooked and run off :)

vanilla said...

Wish I could be sure about what the turkey I bought in the supermarket had been eating.

Oh, well, gotta eat.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I have been places where the chickens run wild and all the hunters wait for the bush planes to land to scatter the birds but they have to be careful not to shoot anyone in the plane.

I have seen moose that were so tall that they touched the sky and watched baby arctic foxes hibernate in their burrow at the museum.

The Elephant's Child said...

In one of our local suburbs they have peacocks roaming through the gardens. I understand they make quite a mess. Turkeys? No? Unless you count some of my neighbours.

Leenie said...

People just THINK they own the world. We don't know it but the animals are plotting an overthrow. That turkey is a spy who just got a burn notice. Bad timing.

Michelle said...

BLEGISEA is a BLUEIDEA.
RENDER - REGIS, two.

Eva Gallant said...

I wonder if that's the Turkey Obama pardoned last Thanksgiving? I can't imagine how it ended up on a city street. We had 18 turkeys on our back lawn last spring, but we live in a much less urban area!

The Jules said...

Look up, Pearly, look up and see them migrating, majestically soaring aloft on the the warm support of rising thermals before darting south in a beautifully synchronised 'v', their ethereal calls bonding them, unifying them, strengthening them until the spring, when they shall return unfailingly to the place of their birth.

Oh wait, I'm thinking of eels.

Kristy said...

So where did the turkey come from? You have us in fits!

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Lots of turkeys here. And not just of the political breed.

KAT said...

Living on a farm I see many wildlife creatures but can't say I've ever seen a turkey in the city. Are you sure you weren't hitting the sauce? :-D

Denise said...

That is stranger than the coyote I watched running through my apartment complex one afternoon, a couple years.

I don't blame you for not wanting to eat it. I won't drink out of a fountain because I don't know who drank out of it before me.

Denise said...

A couple years *ago.

I meant to write. Sorry, I'm cold and tired. Which is strange living in the desert. The cold part, tired not so much strange.

ICKY said...

Ok, first about your Florida comment.....HEY !!!

And second, I told you about the time a few years ago when I saw a wild turkey in the alley across from my house. Given that I lived in North Minneapolis, I could have actually shot it in the middle of the day without raising any eyebrows.
I think B - O double just saw on too.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

There was a clip on the news tonight of a turkey loose in the streets somewhere in the states...I'm afraid I didn't catch where. What a hoot It was attacking tires and just having itself a time. I believe it was a tom though, not a hen. Turkeys of the world unite.

Cloudia said...

Marlin says: "Nature cares for animals,
but man needs insurance to live."

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

><}}(°>

Joanne said...

There were no turkeys here 22 years ago until one day there was a flock! Now we stop for herds of turkeys on every township road and even a state highway. Not to mention other adventures. I wonder what will be next to reappear.

HermanTurnip said...

Turkeys are nothing short of evil. Though stupid, they won't back down from a challenge, and are more than capable of causing damage to anybody stupid enough to get within ten feet of them.

Perhaps "bad temperament" is what makes them taste so good?

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

Yikes! The Wild Kingdom! Enjoyed this post :)

Michelle said...

JO BIDEN says RON HEVENER is BEE - NEVADA.
WINGS...SERENDIPITY...WHITE - BLACK- RED- WINGSSAIL....
CRUISING LOG...CENTURY- STANDARD- ROOT.
It's a real ROSWOLD.

Tempo said...

I'm quite sure you'd be surprised if you stayed up late enough to see whats actually out there...in the dark...waiting!

Pat said...

This morning my help told me she had just heard a fox barking, and seemed quite happy about it. Makes a change from those danged dachshunds up the lane

R. Jacob said...

Might I remind you, we have plenty of our own bums here in Florida, no need to import any! Alligators crossing the road I have seen, turkeys not yet!

Glen said...

A city turkey would almost certainly NOT be organic!

Susan in the Boonies said...

Seriously? A turkey???

That's so cool!

You know, if a turkey had shown up in our backyard in Nashville, I might not have had to move to the Boonies.

But I doubt it: in Nashville, we had a snapping turtle, a beaver, and deer.

City deer use blinkers at cross streets. As I live and breathe, it's true. I saw three of them stop at a stop sign, one lowered her ear to the left, and all three of them started down the street to the left. I was nursing my son, watching them out my front window, in total disbelief.

Roses said...

LOL@ Glen.

Just be careful when the turkey starts working with Liza Bean. Bad things will happen. I don't need to be psychic, to know this...

Pat Tillett said...

A turkey running around town without an escort is pure fodder for the rumor mill.
It's one thing to be fowl, but quite another to be fowl and "loose."

Nuke Girl said...

Oh yes, city wildlife is freakish, for sure... there's nothing quite like seeing a fox skulking around third base at the little league fields on a Saturday morning. ;)

That corgi :) said...

thanks for visiting our blog (a corgi in southern california) and your kind comment. LOL with the turkey! I just can't imagine! Saw wild turkeys in the city when we lived in Montana, so I know it is possible, but what an adventure I'm sure. Last night on our way home from walking Koda, we saw two skunks crossing the street. We were glad we were already in the car heading away from where we had gone to walk him. And we too live in a major city. We get the coyote, raccoons, possums, etc; always got to be careful, wondering who is wandering around our small backyard!

again, thanks for visiting!

betty