Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Birds Is Coming...

The trip to CCS yesterday was more eventful than the ride home -- despite the harsh weather warnings, heading south from White River Junction at about 7:30 PM amid a light icy rain and some sketchy snow proved to be a sweet drive after I was south of the Claremont NH exit on 91. The skies cleared, the road cleared, and the road was open and dry all the way to Brattleboro.

I left, however, amid what indeed was a winter storm. Hitting the road at 1:30 or so, it was snowing heavily here in Marlboro: that heavy, wet snow we usually get first couple of storms. Since the drive twixt my home and Interstate 91 in Brattleboro is a winding road hustling with trucks, I decided to stick to the back roads, taking the dirt Ames Hill Road from Marlboro into West Brattleboro. It's always a fairly solo ride, as there's usually little or no traffic. The first stretch was slippery and treacherous, requiring easy going (even with my snow tires), but once the road dipped below the higher elevation it gave way to slush, to ice, then to a wet road. By the time I was dipping into the flats, it was genuinely pleasurable driving.

As I drove by one of the open pasture areas before the final extension into Brat, I glanced to my left and put on the brakes.

There, peppering the field from one tree-lined edge to the upper end of the facing hill's treeline, was the largest gathering of wild turkeys I have ever seen in my life.

I love seeing turkeys in the wild: it's the closest I'll ever come to seeing live dinosaurs, y'see. Their manner and movements, their ungainly heads and long necks leading their barrel bodies, their strut deliberate and calm until they're rattled (easily done) -- but this group was enormous!

Counting 37 in all, I idled by the side of Ames Hill Road as long as I could, just drinking in the spectacle. Amazing. As I drove off, I glanced back: they were still foraging, not at all concerned about either my coming or going.

And that, my friends, certainly prompts a final well wish to one and all for a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. We're having our annual gathering of friends and some family, and looking forward to it greatly.

Have a great Turkey Day -- in a way, I had mine yesterday!