Turkeys in the Fog

In large gobbling flocks, wild turkeys strut unconcerned through the hills of Humboldt. Some of them taunt our dog by gawking at her from the ridges on either side of the house. They know no fear. Like the counter culture hippies who moved here in the early seventies, the birds are not native to Northern California. Turkeys, like the white settlers of the coastal region, arrived in the 1800’s. In the early 1900’s large turkey farms dotted the landscape of the southern part of the county. Huge flocks ambled before farmers all the way to Humboldt Bay where they were shipped out to San Francisco.

A few of those birds escaped and created wild flocks but it wasn’t until the last 35 years the turkeys have become part of the landscape of Southern Humboldt County. In Salmon Creek especially, they’ve flourished. Introduced in the seventies by hunters, they aren’t pursued by the current land owners so they proliferate. Last year, one hen chose to nest near my veggie garden. Nearly invisible in her brown camouflage, we didn’t notice her until I turned on the sprinkler the first time and the resulting spray caused her to gather her skirts and run squawking in terror. With a little care on our part, she returned. Within weeks we watched baby turkeys bumbling around.

Dian Fossey may have searched Africa hoping for glimpses of Gorillas in the Mist and I would love to see them, too, but thankfully I live where wildlife, native or not, is abundant–Turkeys in the Fog please my heart and ease my soul when I gather the energy to traverse the long curvy roads into town.

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26 comments

  • Now I know who to turn to for my Thanksgiving turkey! Your graphic isn’t working though.

  • Now I know who to turn to for my Thanksgiving turkey! Your graphic isn’t working though.

  • The Society to Introduce Gorillas to Humboldt — “SIGH”
    Gorillas Relaxing in Humboldt Now! — “GRIHN”
    Turkeys for Gorilla Importation and Fraternization — “TGIF”

  • The Society to Introduce Gorillas to Humboldt — “SIGH”
    Gorillas Relaxing in Humboldt Now! — “GRIHN”
    Turkeys for Gorilla Importation and Fraternization — “TGIF”

  • Hey Kym, Sorry for not posting sooner, but Im better at images than words…. All this talk about Turkeys???? we dont have Thanksgiving in Ireland, But I do have a very Cocky Cock and Hen out in the chiken pen…… I post a phot soon….. Thanks for your opinion on my shots, it’s very much appreciated!

    Vince

  • Hey Kym, Sorry for not posting sooner, but Im better at images than words…. All this talk about Turkeys???? we dont have Thanksgiving in Ireland, But I do have a very Cocky Cock and Hen out in the chiken pen…… I post a phot soon….. Thanks for your opinion on my shots, it’s very much appreciated!

    Vince

  • Is it true the counter-culture hippies you speak of got in a van in San Francisco and drove north until they ran out of gas?

  • Is it true the counter-culture hippies you speak of got in a van in San Francisco and drove north until they ran out of gas?

  • Aunt Jackie: The turkeys are only hiding from you… They hear you are looking for them.

    Chris: Our birds all belong to TIGHT D, Turkeys for Importing Gorillas to Have for Thanksgiving Dinner. They think bird is overrated for a feast.

    Vince: I love looking at your photos. Don’t worry about posting (although I will enjoy getting to know you if you do) Your photos are amazing!

    Ren:I’ll have to ask Kevin’s dad how he and the commune ended up here.

  • Aunt Jackie: The turkeys are only hiding from you… They hear you are looking for them.

    Chris: Our birds all belong to TIGHT D, Turkeys for Importing Gorillas to Have for Thanksgiving Dinner. They think bird is overrated for a feast.

    Vince: I love looking at your photos. Don’t worry about posting (although I will enjoy getting to know you if you do) Your photos are amazing!

    Ren:I’ll have to ask Kevin’s dad how he and the commune ended up here.

  • A very nice photo of the turkeys. I often see them when I am walking in the early morning or working in the yard. They frequently roost in the wild broom of the neighbors pasture and in the spring I can hear them calling to their young ones. Dad, Grandma and I enjoy being the first to say, “I saw the wild turkeys today.” In early Spring, it is not uncommon to see a flock of 30 or more but by late fall the flock has usually dwindled to 10 or 12
    Dad has often threatened to shoot one for our dinner but I suspect they would be tough old birds, so I have discouraged him.

  • A very nice photo of the turkeys. I often see them when I am walking in the early morning or working in the yard. They frequently roost in the wild broom of the neighbors pasture and in the spring I can hear them calling to their young ones. Dad, Grandma and I enjoy being the first to say, “I saw the wild turkeys today.” In early Spring, it is not uncommon to see a flock of 30 or more but by late fall the flock has usually dwindled to 10 or 12
    Dad has often threatened to shoot one for our dinner but I suspect they would be tough old birds, so I have discouraged him.

  • Your photo, Kym, looks like it should be framed, and hanging on someone’s dining room wall. It’s great! It reminds me of a print that I got when DJ & I went to Spain together, of a campsite with some women making paella “al fresco” – meaning in the open air (for those non-Spanish speakers).

  • Okay, after re-reading my comment, I realize that I didn’t say WHY it reminded me of the one I have. It’s because of the coloring, and the “mistiness” of it. NOT that turkeys remind me of Spanish Women Making Paella. 😀

  • Okay, after re-reading my comment, I realize that I didn’t say WHY it reminded me of the one I have. It’s because of the coloring, and the “mistiness” of it. NOT that turkeys remind me of Spanish Women Making Paella. 😀

  • The turkeys lay about 12-15 eggs in the nests I’ve seen (all of 2 :>) but by fall, the chicks and the adults have been seriously decimated. I suspect that even though they are non-native they have quickly entered the food chain.

    When I took the photo I was wishing I had a telephoto lens. Today, I discovered I do.

    Techno geek, NOT!!!

    Oh well, I’m learning the new camera.

  • The turkeys lay about 12-15 eggs in the nests I’ve seen (all of 2 :>) but by fall, the chicks and the adults have been seriously decimated. I suspect that even though they are non-native they have quickly entered the food chain.

    When I took the photo I was wishing I had a telephoto lens. Today, I discovered I do.

    Techno geek, NOT!!!

    Oh well, I’m learning the new camera.

  • I think it’s a great composition. You can tell those are turkeys without being able to count every tail feather.

  • I think it’s a great composition. You can tell those are turkeys without being able to count every tail feather.

  • TIGHT D: Sign me up! Or sign up the turkey I purchased yesterday, anyways…

  • TIGHT D: Sign me up! Or sign up the turkey I purchased yesterday, anyways…

  • i love this shot, ………i believe the one in front is just like me, a turkey leading the way in the fog, on the road to no where

  • Well, if you were reincarnated as a turkey, I’d know to look for the best looking one in the flock! Love you!

  • Well, if you were reincarnated as a turkey, I’d know to look for the best looking one in the flock! Love you!

  • Pingback: Turkey in the Rain « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

  • Pingback: Turkey in the Rain « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

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