Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sap Moon and a Wild Turkey

The full moon in March (3/30) marked the fourth one that Miles has been in the world to see. As I watched it rise I was reminded of a book I read, thankfully before I was pregnant, and each chapter was named for the full moon that marked that month of the author's pregnancy. The book was Having Faith: An Ecologists Journey to Motherhood by Sandra Steingraber. She has been dubbed as "the next Rachel Carson" as she advocates for the end of environmental pollution as it's effects are bio-magnified and passed on to nursing babies.
This "chapter" for Miles would be called "Sap Moon" named for the customary tapping of the Sugar Maple trees during this time of the year. The 2010 sugarbush season was cut short however by our unusually warm weather! When the trees bud there is a chemical change that occurs and the sap takes on an unpleasant taste. The short sap run we had will probably make the cost of maple syrup higher this year, but we will find a way to buy enough for our waffles I'm sure!
Here you can see the warm blue skies and the trees in our backyard bursting into buds last Wednesday (3/31). After I tried to capture the beautiful feathery cirrus clouds in a photograph I went back upstairs to make lunch. When I walked by the porch I looked out over the parking lot next door. The silhouette I saw looked out of place, and it took a moment for me to realize what it was. There was a WILD TURKEY wandering around outside! Mind you I live smack dab in the middle of downtown, and there she was just prancing back and forth between the parked cars.

What a treat! Talk about urban wildlife... I was so disappointed that Miles was sleeping and did not see it. This same thing has happened the last two years, always around the same time. One day I was turning the corner near our compost pile and I almost ran into a turkey.
So, is it the same one I keep seeing, or is there some secret gang of turkeys that hangs around downtown? (Or rather a "rafter" of turkeys as I learned they are called on the DNR website.)
This one allowed me to watch and photograph from a distance, and then suddenly took off running. As quick as I could snap the shutter, she was above the neighbors rooftop and gone. (That brown dot in the middle is the backside of a flying turkey!)

Later that day when Miles woke up we went out in search of our wild friend. We sat sunning on the lawn and Miles wore his new baby shades. We did not see the turkey again but the fresh air and warm sunshine felt wonderful!

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