During my days at Stony Brook University, there was a local Grateful Dead cover band named Blind from Wild Turkey. This is, of course a reference to the celebrated brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey but would make perfect sense if describing the impact of observing a Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the full flower of its hideousness. Gaze upon it if you dare…
Dig that crazy snood! Seth and Christine were in town this weekend, just in time to accompany the Core Team – Sara, Mason, Ivy, and myself – to Marshlands Conservancy in Rye, NY for our spring seaweed adventure. We actually embark on plenty of seaweed adventures, which entail me and Mason popping seaweed bladders along the rocky coast of the Long Island Sound, throughout the year. Mid-April isn’t the most thrilling time from a birding perspective to visit Marshlands. The loons have left but horseshoe crabs, with their attendant turnstones and dowitchers, have yet to arrive. Still, Osprey are on their nests, finches are at the feeders, and throngs of turkey toms are in full display.
Apart from the anticipated turkeys, feeder birds, common woodpeckers, and half-hardies, we lucked into an early Marsh Wren and a flock of Greater Yellowlegs. The migrant vanguard of Palm and Pine Warblers eluded us, but then again, birding wasn’t the focus of this springtime excursion. But while I was savaging seaweed with Mason and tutoring Ivy on the finer points of tossing rocks in the water, Seth got hold of my camera with rather interesting results…
I was just struck by the pleasing effect of having uniformly-sized, wide aspect ratio photos in this post. These are like little compositions, placing the subject within a context and allowing the eye to roam across the image. The 600×240 size also makes it easy to view in my news-reader. Cool.
Thanks, Bill. I’m impressed that you noticed. This was my first experiment with a uniform image size.
Love the format. I, myself, am sold on (addicted to) a square format but these pics look great! Those turkey pics are tough to take on an empty stomach! Wow! That’s an u-g-l-y bird! Looks like you guys had a great trip!
I dig the picture format too. I think Daddy should wear the same hat as Ivy on his next birding trip.
The format looks very nice but it might be difficult with some of the bird pics. e.g. when you have a squarish bird.
What I absolutely LOVE about having a baby is that the baby can often look so serious and concentrated as if he/she is trying to disprove Einstein while wearing a cute and funny hat with fluffy ears. The contrast is just killing me, imagine the President addressing Americans during his state-of-the-Union speech wearing a Teddy-Bear hat!
Ivy looks like she’s stooping to stay in the picture.
I may be alone in this, but I don’t think the turkey is hideous at all.
I agree with Jochen’s suggestion. That would make for a State of the Union worth watching, especially if the VP and Speaker were similarly attired.
John, if you live outside the US and are not used to having Turkeys around outside your supermarket’s freezer section, it is one of the mind-blowing stunners of American avifauna and way up there in the highlights chapter of any trip report!
Nevertheless, Mike has captured the facial expression of the bird, or the emotions we attribute to it, very well as he always does when he puts finger to keyboard to describe whatever it is he strives to describe. So I can see “hideousness” in its impressive outside rather than character, although I have not talked to a Turkey in person over a beer or two about that.
Man, would I love to see Angela Merkel in a Teddy Bear Suit, telling us we need to send more troops to Afghanistan although parts of that mission are not covered by our constitution.
Interesting fetish, Jochen. Thanks for sharing!
Before I forget.
Happy – belated – Birthday, mike!