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We feed the birds all year long, delighting in the permanent residents at Poison Ivy Acres as well as the temporary visitors that are passing through. From bluebirds to bluejays, cardinals to chickadees, crows and morning doves, we love them all. The constant motion and color that they bring to our landscape is delightful. Each type of bird has a personality and watching them adds to our enjoyment of these gardens.

And then there are the turkeys. They look as if they’ve been put together out of spare parts. “Gee, God…we’ve got extra sets of bird components here. It’s kind of a shame to waste them…how about we just stick them together and let them loose in New England?”

The turkeys are curious, almost companionable animals. They tolerate it when The Dog acts like an idiot and chases them, and they’re willing to ignore him when he’s barking at their flock through the sliding glass door. They love the shelled sunflower seed we use to attract their smaller relatives and they’re willing to pretend that we’ve put this bounty out just for them. “Sunflower seeds? How delicious…you shouldn’t have!”

Yes, the turkeys can scratch up sections of the landscape as they create dust baths and look for insects. Yes, they irritate The Dog to no end, and yes, they eat more seed than fifty bluejays can stuff into their greedy beaks. Nevertheless…

Their size and iridescent plumage are often unexpected and cause us to stop, crying “Oh, look…the turkeys are back!” They shake up our lives just a little bit and this prevents us all from sleep walking through the day.  They are clearly angels, made of spare bird parts.

A calling card. I imagine that it's saying, "Thanks, C.L. Next time, could you be a bit more generous with the sunflower seed?"

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