Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Turkey Smarts, Or More Bird Feeder Tales

Turkey Smarts

Turkey Smarts

©Bert Gildart: What would you do if you suddenly saw the massive head of a GRIZZLY BEAR peering at you through the small trap door that permitted your dog’s egress to and from your house?

That happened several years ago to one of our neighbors, and though we weren’t there to witness the shock, we certainly heard about it.

The bear, according to reports, had walked through our yard. Realizing, perhaps, that the seeds in our bird feeder were impossible to reach, it kept on going, exploring our small farming community for food.

Next in line was the aroma seeping from the lady’s kitchen, which attracted the bear. As it investigated, the grizzly discovered a small opening into which it inserted its head, setting off a chain reaction. The dog howled, the lady screamed, then ran, and all that prompted the bear to pull its head from the dog’s access hole.

Panic stricken, the huge grizzly raced several hundred yards to the Flathead River, which it swam, not to be seen for another year. But return it did, this time to tear up another neighbor’s property–the farmer’s bee hives. Again, the beast disappeared, and so far this year no one has seen the bear.

Such are the tales from our small country road, and the only comparable story we can offer tells of the many turkeys that love our feeder.

Throughout the year, if we don’t monitor the feeder, at times turkeys fly onto the railing of our porch where they then pry off the lid to access the seed, which they then scatter onto the floor of our deck. Here they settle to feast.

Our National Bird

Our National Bird?

After that their intelligence seems to runs amuck…

Angry that these birds could create such havoc Janie and I have tried to haze the turkeys from our deck. But the birds panic and don’t seem to have the intelligence to realize they must fly up before they can fly over the railing. The railing and supports become a pen around our deck, and the turkeys scurry frantically from side to side.

And Ben Franklin believed the turkey should have been our national bird?

Though it has been tempting at times to have turkey for dinner, we’ve never given in to our temptations, realizing, of course, that eventually the birds will figure out how to depart if left alone.

Shutting the door leading to the deck, some still tear around, but eventually one figures it out and leads the way. With a few flaps of its wings “Smart Turkey” rises above the deck and then soars back to the nearby field. Others follow. Chuckling we replace the lid to the feeder, trying to seal the opening a bit better, realizing, of course, that this is really just another interesting anecdote resulting from the placement of bird feeders.

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